Saudi Cup 2020: Post times, fields and how to watch

Saudi Cup 2020: Post times, fields and how to watch
Photo: Neville Hopwood/Dubai Racing Club

A number of top American horses are in Saudi Arabia this week for Saturday’s Saudi Cup card worth more than $29 million in purse money. But they’re not just handing money out at King Abdulaziz Racecourse.

Top international fields have assembled, including for the featured $20 million Saudi Cup itself. Here’s an updated look at the program with post positions to be determined Wednesday.

The Saudi Cup will air on Fox Sports 1 in the United States, and it’s possible the undercard shows up on Fox Sports 2. If not, all eight races are expected to stream live on flosports.tv, which offers monthly packages in the neighborhood of $12.50. Major advanced deposit wagering services will offer betting.

Race 1: $1 million Naghi Motors Cup (8 a.m. ET)

Known previously as the Neom Turf Cup, this was to be the spot for Mo Forza, the Peter Miller-trained Grade 1 winner. Instead, connections will wait for Dubai with that colt, leaving the Aidan O’Brien trainee Mount Everest as a standout along with Japan’s Deirdre.


Race 2: $1 million 1351 Cup (8:35 a.m. ET)

Two Americans, Doug O’Neill’s Legends of War and Miller’s Ghoul, will take part in this 6 1/2-furlong turf sprint. Legends of War offers back class as a Kentucky Downs stakes winner last fall, while Ghoul is a recent addition to Miller’s barn and improving. Suedois, who shipped in to take the 2017 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) at Keeneland, recently returned to his winning ways in Dubai.


*Rating is based on HRN fan votes, which rank the Top Active Horses in training.
RankSilksHorse / SireRatingTrainer / JockeyLast StartStatus
 Suedois
Le Havre
6.96
D. O'Meara
1st, 2020 Handicap 
Possible
 Sir Dancealot
Sir Prancealot
6.07
D. Elsworth
10th, 2019 Prix de la Foret (G1) 
Possible
 Speak In Colours
Excelebration
5.56
J. O'Brien
6th, 2019 British Champions Sprint Stakes (G1) 
Possible
 Legends Of War
Scat Daddy
5.34
D. O'Neill
9th, 2020 Joe Hernandez (G2) 
Probable
 Ghoul
Put It Back
4.45
P. Miller
5th, 2020 Clockers' Corner Stakes (LS)
Possible
 Larchmont Lad
Footstepsinthesand
4.12
J. Tuite
3rd, 2019 Prix du Pin (G3) 
Probable
 Dark Power
Dark Angel
A. Smith
2nd, 2018 Handicap 
Possible
 Glorious Journey
Dubawi
C. Appleby
1st, 2020 Al Fahidi Fort (G2) 
Possible
 Graignes
Zoffany
G. Baker
5th, 2019 Prix de la Foret (G1) 
Possible
 Holy Day
Full Mandate
W. White
10th, GP Claim (12/31/2015-R2)
Probable
 King Malpic
King's Best
T. Lemer
12th, 2019 Prix Maurice de Gheest (G1) 
Possible
 Momkin
Bated Breath
W. Haggas
5th, 2019 Prix du Pin (G3) 
Possible
 Mubtasim
Arcano
C. Appleby
3rd, 2020 Al Fahidi Fort (G2) 
Probable
 Royal Intervention
Exceed And Excel
E. Walker
1st, 2019 Goldene Peitsche (G2) 
Possible

Race 3: $2.5 million Longines Turf Cup (9:10 a.m. ET)

While absent an American runner, this race, originally billed as the Red Sea Cup, looks loaded with 2018 Melbourne Cup (G1) winner Cross Counter going for Godolphin and Dee Ex Bee a classy European campaigner who likely needed his last one on Jan. 30 in Dubai. Prince of Arran is another who has run consistently with the world’s best on turf.


*Rating is based on HRN fan votes, which rank the Top Active Horses in training.
RankSilksHorse / SireRatingTrainer / JockeyLast StartStatus
 Called To The Bar
Henrythenavigator
7.70
P. Brandt
5th, 2019 Hong Kong Vase (G1) 
Possible
 Cross Counter
Teofilo
7.26
C. Appleby
8th, 2019 Melbourne Cup (G1) 
Possible
340Twilight Payment
Teofilo
6.91
J. O'Brien
11th, 2019 Melbourne Cup (G1) 
Possible
 Dee Ex Bee
Farhh
6.09
S. Ghadayer
5th, 2020 Meydan Cup (LS) 
Possible
 Prince Of Arran
Shirocco
5.84
C. Fellowes
11th, 2019 Hong Kong Vase (G1) 
Possible
 Call The Wind
Frankel
5.79
F. Head
2nd, 2019 Prix Royal-Oak (G1) 
Possible
 Way To Paris
Champs Elysees
5.45
A. Marcialis
5th, 2019 Prix Royal-Oak (G1) 
Possible
 Weekender
Frankel
5.45
J. Gosden
7th, 2019 Wild Flower Stakes (LS) 
Possible
 Contango
Casamento
A. Balding
14th, 2020 The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup (G1)
Possible
 Downdraft
Camelot
J. O'Brien
22th, 2019 Melbourne Cup (G1) 
Possible
 Hibou
Street Cry
F. Alabdmonim
3rd, 2020 The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup (G1)
Possible
 King's Advice
Frankel
M. Johnston
3rd, 2020 Conditions Stakes 
Possible
 Mekong
Frankel
J. Osborne
4th, 2020 Meydan Cup (LS) 
Possible
 Raymond Tusk
High Chaparral
R. Hannon, Jr.
1st, 2019 Conditions Stakes 
Possible

Race 4: $1.9 million Obaiya Arabian Classic (9:45 a.m. ET)

One for the Arabians. Moving on…

Race 5: $500,000 Local Handicap (10:30 a.m. ET)

And this, for local runners…

Race 6: $800,000 Saudi Derby (11:10 a.m. ET)

In a potential tuneup for the March 28 UAE Derby (G2), Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf runner-up Billy Batts switches to dirt here, while Steve Asmussen-trained Rowdy Yates enters off a victory in Sunland Park’s Riley Allison Derby. It’s tough to gauge the overall class of this event, but the filly Down On Day Bayou is an intriguing presence off her dominating victory last week in Meydan’s UAE Oaks (G3).


*Rating is based on HRN fan votes, which rank the Top Active Horses in training.
RankSilksHorse / SireRatingTrainer / JockeyLast StartStatus
 Billy Batts
City Zip
5.76
P. Miller
1st, 2020 Baffle Stakes (LS)
Possible
 Rowdy Yates
Morning Line
5.76
S. Asmussen
1st, 2020 Riley Allison Derby (LS)
Possible
 Down On Da Bayou
Super Saver
5.12
S. Ghadayer
1st, 2020 UAE Oaks (G3) 
Probable
 Full Flat
Speightstown
5.12
H. Mori
5th, 2019 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) 
Possible
 Aan Alawan

Probable
 Bella Fever
Texas Fever
M. De Kock
1st, 2020 Conditions 
Probable
 Cherokee Trail
War Front
J. Gosden
7th, 2019 Autumn Stakes (G3) 
Probable
 Final Song
Dark Angel
S. Suroor
2nd, 2020 Conditions 
Possible
 Lake Causeway
Creative Cause
S. Seemar
4th, 2020 UAE 2000 Guineas (G3) 
Probable
 Malafekh
Stratford Hill

Probable
 Mishriff

Probable
 Mor'edah
Top Music

Probable
 Rajee Allah

Probable
 Tamaari

Probable

Race 7: $1.5 million Saudia Sprint (11:50 a.m. ET)

While this field’s missing one of its top Americans, Shancelot, the multiple Grade 1 winner Imperial Hint has made the trip. Asmussen also sent over Engage, a relative newcomer to his barn who won Keeneland’s Phoenix (G2) last fall, but the Daily Racing Form reported Monday that horse is out due to a setback. Now based in Dubai, Gladiator King has gone back to back to open his season, and New York Central is a Grade 3 winner sold to Saudi Arabian interests. Another to mention in this stacked event is Miller’s other shipper, the last out Palos Verdes (G2) hero Captain Scotty.


*Rating is based on HRN fan votes, which rank the Top Active Horses in training.
RankSilksHorse / SireRatingTrainer / JockeyLast StartStatus
 Imperial Hint
Imperialism
8.14
L. Carvajal
3rd, 2019 Mr. Prospector (G3) 
Possible
 Gladiator King
Curlin
6.73
S. Seemar
1st, 2020 Al Shindagha Sprint (G3) 
Possible
 Engage
Into Mischief
6.17
S. Asmussen
4th, 2019 Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) 
Out
 New York Central
Tapit
6.08
S. Asmussen
5th, 2019 Bet on Sunshine (LS)
Possible
 Drafted
Field Commission
5.80
D. Watson
4th, 2020 Al Shindagha Sprint (G3) 
Possible
 Manguzi
Planteur
5.73
A. Al-Rayhi
8th, 2020 Handicap 
Probable
 Captain Scotty
Quality Road
5.34
P. Miller
1st, 2020 Palos Verdes (G2)
Possible
 Matera Sky
Speightstown
4.45
H. Mori
8th, 2019 Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) 
Possible
 Maypole
Mayson
4.45
F. Almindeel
3rd, 2020 Ministry of Foreign Affairs Cup (G3)
Probable
 Beau Warrior
Declaration of War
A. McGuinness
9th, 2019 Derrinstown Stud 1000 Guineas Trial (G3) 
Probable
 Indelible Ink
Invincible Spirit
S. Stoute
5th, 2020 Ministry of Foreign Affairs Cup (G3)
Probable
 Mesquite
High Chaparral
R. Beckett
4th, 2018 Fillies' Handicap 
Probable
 Muhtaram
Shamardal
M. Mheiri
4th, 2020 The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup (G1)
Probable
 Sobre Action
Interaction

11th, 2019 Conditions 
Probable

Race 8: $20 million Saudi Cup (12:40 p.m. ET)

The main event includes five Americans led by champions Maximum Security and Midnight Bisou, as well as Grade 1 winner McKinzie. Will there be an international spoiler? Benbatl looked just short of brilliant when winning his dirt debut last time at Meydan, while Gronkowski may finally be cranked back up after a surprise second in last year’s Dubai World Cup (G1). North America adds pace, and Japan’s Chrysoberyl shows up with a 6-for-6 record.

With Mucho Gusto and Magic Wand also Grade/Group 1 winners, something will have to give in the world’s richest horse race.


*Rating is based on HRN fan votes, which rank the Top Active Horses in training.
RankSilksHorse / SireRatingTrainer / JockeyLast StartStatus
 Maximum Security
New Year's Day
8.52
J. Servis
1st, 2019 Cigar Mile (G1) 
Probable
 Midnight Bisou
Midnight Lute
8.35
S. Asmussen
2nd, 2019 Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) 
Probable
 Tacitus
Tapit
8.30
W. Mott
3rd, 2019 Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) 
Probable
 McKinzie
Street Sense
8.16
B. Baffert
2nd, 2019 Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) 
Probable
 Mucho Gusto
Mucho Macho Man
7.72
B. Baffert
1st, 2020 Pegasus World Cup (G1) 
Probable
 Magic Wand
Galileo
7.55
A. O'Brien
2nd, 2020 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) 
Probable
 Gronkowski
Lonhro
7.36
S. Ghadayer
3rd, 2020 Al Maktoum Challenge Rd. 2 (G2) 
Probable
242North America
Dubawi
7.34
S. Seemar
3rd, 2020 Al Maktoum Challenge Rd. 1 (G2) 
Probable
 Benbatl
Dubawi
7.14
S. Suroor
1st, 2020 Al Maktoum Challenge Rd. 2 (G2) 
Probable
 Chrysoberyl
Gold Allure
6.87
H. Otonashi
1st, 2019 Champions Cup (G1) 
Probable
 Capezzano
Bernardini
6.48
S. Ghadayer
1st, 2020 Firebreak Stakes (G3) 
Probable
 Gold Dream
Gold Allure
6.07
O. Hirata
4th, 2019 Tokyo Daishoten (G1) 
Probable
 Mjjack
Elzaam
5.12
S. Alharabi
1st, 2020 The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup (G1)
Probable
 Great Scot
Requinto
4.84
T. Dascombe
1st, 2019 Superior Mile (G3) 
Probable

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