The Saudi Cup 2022

The Saudi Cup 2022 horses racing on sand with jockeys
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The Saudi Cup 2022

Within the world of major equestrian events, the end of February is now a time of year horse racing fans around the globe have marked in their calendars. This is because the final weekend of the month features the Saudi Cup, which is now regarded as the most lucrative event in the horse racing industry. Now trainers and owners alike have turned their gaze to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, lets take a look at this fascinating event in more detail.

Major Global Event

Saudi Arabia has always boasted a rich cultural history surrounding equestrian activity, dating back centuries. Indeed, this middle eastern peninsula region is famed for the Arabian horse breed, which is one of the most easily recognisable in the world, largely because of the distinctive head shape and high tail carriage. Arabian bloodlines are also found in almost all modern breeds of riding horses, while archaeological evidence dates their lineage back more than 4,000 years, always highly prized by the nomadic Bedouin peoples.

Due to such an enduring passion for horses and riding, it may be quite surprising that such a major horse racing event hasnโ€™t been hosted in Saudi Arabia earlier, especially considering the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia (JCSA) was established in 1965. This organisation has pursued a steady long-term strategy to raise its international profile, which was achieved recently when the country achieved Part I status in the IFHA ranking lists, largely due to the overwhelming success of hosting the Saudi Cup since 2020.

The inaugural running of the Saudi Cup in February 2020 quickly grabbed global attention, instantly becoming the richest horse race in the world, offering a $20 million purse for the headline race. This top-grade thoroughbred flat race is run over an 1,800-metre distance and on a dirt surface, hosted at the spectacular King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh, which has benefitted from huge investment and was originally opened in 2003. This is also the largest horse racing venue in Saudi Arabia, hosting track events from September through to April.

The first winner of the inaugural Saudi Cup in 2020 was Maximum Security, an impressive champion American thoroughbred, ridden by Luis Saez and trained by Jason Servis. The winner in 2021 was Irish trained thoroughbred Mishriff, ridden by David Egan and Trained by John Gosden, owned by Prince Abdul Rahman al Faisal. Mishriff is already entered and will attempt to defend his title in 2022, meaning that if this magnificent horse emerges as the winner once again, he will become the highest earning horse of all time in terms of prize money.

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Betting Tips & Advice

Given the swiftly increasing renown of the Saudi Cup, just like many of the top international horse racing events, each annual running generates plenty of excitement and betting interest. For novices and experts alike, this means that having a reliable guide to online sports betting handy and bookmarked in your browser is always a good idea, which Asiabet has provided. This covers latest reviews for all the best horse racing betting sites, including those which feature excellent options for horse racing events, along with plenty of tips and advice.

Considering that Saudi Arabia has a rich cultural history of equestrian activity, itโ€™s perhaps quite surprising the country never hosted such a prestigious, headline grabbing event as the Saudi Cup before its 2020 inauguration. But what this highlights is that with each passing year, more and more countries around the world are keen to launch their own showpiece horse racing events, which means increasingly bigger purses on offer and more widespread international appeal, making this a truly global sport which race fans can enjoy.

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The Saudi Cup brings a two-day international racing festival to the global calendar of events, while there is plenty of competition amongst host countries and venues, all vying to put on the most easily recognisable races each year. The Saudi Cup also falls conveniently between two other great horse racing events, four weeks after the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park in Florida, USA, and four weeks before the Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse in the United Arab Emirates.

Of course, different countries and venues can have their own unique attributes, while the selection of horses and jockeys competing can vary significantly. Thatโ€™s why itโ€™s always useful to do some research before wagering, checking out which bookies have the best coverage of certain events, plus the strongest selection of betting markets and competitively valued odds. Likewise, donโ€™t forget to bet responsibly and maintain sensible wagering limits, as this will always ensure that backing the horses remains an entertaining and fun activity.

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Author: Suzanne Ashton Founder, Everything Horse email: sashton@everythinghorseuk.co.uk

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