Horseracing now has a new richest horse race as the Saudi Cup, which is set to take place in February, will see a purse worth $20 million up for grabs. That tops the prize money available in the Dubai World Cup which is currently around $12 million.
The race will take place in the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, with the race been run over 1 mile 1 furlong on the dirt track at King Abdulaziz Racetrack.
This contest now surpasses every other race in the world for the amount of prize money on offer which is record breaking for the sport, it even tops the Pegasus World Cup that was run at Gulfstream Park, Florida in 2018 and had a purse of $16 million.
The maximum field that can run in the race is 14 and it is unlike any other race where the entry fee is free which allows for a number of well known horses to potentially go and enter the race.
Details of the contest were revealed by Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al Faisal, chairman of the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia, with the idea of this race-day to inspire people coming back to Saudi Arabia and to make the country a hub on the International Stage.
This shows how some of he richest nations in the world are trying to constantly out do each other in terms of prize money in racing with the Pegasus Cup and America making the first move back in 2017 when exceeding the money on offer that the Dubai World Cup originally put up.
The first ever winner of the Saudi Cup on February 29th will take home a total of $10 million with second to tenth place in the race sharing out the rest of the $10 million.
(Credit Racing Post) Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al Faisal said: "The introduction of the Saudi Cup as an international race is without doubt the most significant event in the history of horse racing in Saudi Arabia, and demonstrates our resolve to develop this great sport in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and also our ambition to become a leading player on horse racing's world stage.
"We look forward to welcoming international horsemen and women, the media, racing enthusiasts and the public to Riyadh in 2020."
The historic race will be run smack bang in the middle of the two other big contests on the racing calendar, with it being four weeks before the Pegasus World Cup and then four weeks after will be the Dubai World Cup.
This allows for the potential of horses to be able to compete in all three of them and it would be one of the greatest moments in the sport if there was a horse that went on to win all three of them in the same year, sort of creating another version of the Triple Crown.
The Prince added: "It’s based on Belmont, in that it’s a one-turn mile and a quarter. Of all the dirt tracks I've ridden it's the one I like best as you can win from the front and you can win from behind – it’s a fair track.
"The other thing I like is that the kickback is so much less than on other dirt tracks. I don’t know why but the sand seems finer and doesn't stick. You only need a couple of pairs of goggles, where on other tracks you need four or five. It's a kinder track that I can see turf horses handling."