Tellytrack to air Saudi Cup

PUBLISHED: 27 February 2020

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The richest race in history, the US $20 million Saudi Cup, will be screened live on Tellytrack at 12 noon on Saturday 29 February.

It will be run on a dirt surface over 1800m at King Abdulaziz Racetrack.  

The race has attracted a star studded field from around the globe, including Maximum Security, whose only two losses in nine races were in a preparation outing and when controversially disqualified in the Kentucky Derby. This Jason Servis-trained colt is by the Street Cry sire New Year’s Day and was the meritorious winner of the Derby, having crossed the line well clear. He will be hard to beat, especially as the surface is predicted to favour front-runners. However, he will have to handle the new environment and also the absence of standard USA medication lasix and bute, which is not allowed in this race.  

Top America dirt horses McKinzie and Mucho Gusto could be the chief threats.

They are both trained by Bob Baffert, who has won the Dubai World Cup before and is more used to shipping and running horses internationally than is Servis. 

McKinzie is reportedly in the best form of his career.

Mucho Gusto was the winner of the recent Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park.

Aiden O’Brien runs the mare Magic Wand, who was second in the Pegasus World Cup Turf invitational last time out, but her pedigree suggests she might not be suited to dirt. 

Benbatl is an interesting contender from Britain as he has won three Group 1s, all on different continents, and is currently in good dirt form in Dubai.

Frankie Dettori rides Gronkowski, second to Justify in the 2018 Belmont Stakes, but he was well beaten by Benbatl last time out in Dubai.

Chrysoberyl and Gold Dream finished first and second respectively in Japan’s Champions Cup.

The remaining two are both from America, Midnight Bisou, who was second in the Breeders Cup Distaff, and two-time Group 1 winner Tacitus, who comes off a disappointing third in the Group 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup.

By David Thiselton