Saudi Cup: Swiss Skydiver heads 17 G1 winners entered for $20m contest

Horse Racing Maximum Security
As many 17 G1 winners in the running to follow Maximum Security as the next winner of the Saudi Cup. Photo: Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia/Neville Hopwood.

Saudi Arabia: Preakness Stakes winner Swiss Skydiver, Prix du Jockey Club hero Mishriff, Champion Stakes winner Addeybb and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile star Knicks Go are among 17 G1 winners engaged in the second edition of the $20 million Saudi Cup.

They feature among more than 100 horses from nine countries in the running for the world’s richest race, won last year by Maximum Security, which will be staged in Riyadh on February 20.

Full entries for the Saudi Cup card

Charlatan, spectacular winner of the Malibu Stakes for Bob Baffert, and Japan’s reigning dirt horse of the year Chuwa Wizard, who qualified through a victory in the Champions Cup, could also line up.

There are more than 400 international entries across the two days of the Saudi Cup meeting with the $1.5m Saudi Derby also attracting a number of G1 winners including Hot Rod Charlie and Jackie’s Warrior, second and fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and France’s Prix Marcel Boussac-winning filly Tiger Tanaka.

Channel Maker, a four-time G1 winner for Bill Mott, is engaged in both the $1m Middle Distance Turf Cup and the $2.5m Long Distance Turf Handicap, which has again attracted 2020 victor Call The Wind and  international globetrotter Prince Of Arran.

July Cup winner Oxted is entered in both the $1.5m Dirt Sprint and $1m 1351 Turf Sprint, where he could face Godolphin’s Space Blues along with last year’s winner Dark Power, trained by Allan Smith.

Horse Racing Kenny McPeek Robby Albarado Swiss Skydiver Preakness Stakes
Preakness Stakes winner Swiss Skydiver is among a host of G1 winners engaged in the Saudi Cup. Photo: Maryland Jockey Club

There are horses entered from nine different countries including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Norway, the Czech Republic and Greece in a new race, the $500k Saudi International Handicap, specifically designed for horses trained in IFHA Part II or Part III countries, which will be run on Friday February 19 when the International Jockeys’ Challenge will also take place.

Tom Ryan, director of strategy and international racing for the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the final entry list for this year’s Saudi Cup meeting, especially given the challenges everyone has been faced with over the past 12 months.

“Considering this is only the second year of a new international racing event, both the quality and depth of entries has grown significantly, and there is some really strong momentum behind the meeting.”

• Visit the Saudi Cup website

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