The team behind Phoenix Thoroughbreds have hailed the inaugural Saudi Cup as a success.
The Dubai-based owners, along with co-owner and Saudi native Khalid bin Mishref, sent out star horse Gronkowski to run in the new richest race in the World and were impressed with the event. Seen as a game-changer for racing in the Middle East the Saudi Cup and it’s undercard brought together top-class horses from Asia, Europe, The US and Japan in a race day that attracted a global audience.
Staged at the King Abdulaziz Race track just outside the Kingdom’s capital Riyadh there was prize money of more than $30m up for grabs across a historic night. In addition to staging the country’s first turf race, it’s likely that the Saudi Cup will change racing in the region and establish KSA as a major racing nation, something Phoenix Thoroughbreds are keen to see.
“The whole event was fantastic to be part of,” said Phoenix Thoroughbreds CEO Amer Abdulaziz. “Everyone involved fully embraced the race day, put on a great show, and the Saudi people were brilliant hosts. I have to thank HRH Prince Bandar bin Khalid al Faisal and his team for their vision and determination for making the Saudi Cup a reality.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get the result we wanted with Gronkowski, but we had a great time in Riyadh. The racetrack, the supporting infrastructure and racing surface are among the best in the World. We hope to return next year with an even stronger team of horses.”
Even before the Saudi Cup became a reality, Abdulaziz was exploring the possibility of running horses in Riyadh in some of the other international fixtures on the country’s racing calendar. No doubt having further experienced the passion for the sport in the Kingdom that possibility has become even more of an ambition.