Thu, Jan 5, 2023

Saudi set for Prince Khalid Cup race

King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh will host the second renewal of the Prince Khalid Bin Abdullah Cup on Saturday, run in the name of the legendary Saudi Arabian owner-breeder.

Known throughout the racing world as the founder of breeding operation Juddmonte, which produced over 200 Group 1 winners during his lifetime, this race offers a chance to honour and remember his legacy.

HRH Prince Bandar Bin Khalid Al Faisal, Chairman of the JCSA, said: “Prince Khalid Bin Abdullah is known throughout the racing world as one of the biggest contributors to the development of the Thoroughbred racehorse. His legacy took 40 years to build and it will be remembered for far more than 40 years in the future. The horses he produced and their exploits on the racecourse will live forever in the history books and in our memories.

“Now in its second year, the Prince Khalid Bin Abdullah Cup is our way of honouring the memory of a great racing mind and a beloved international sporting figure of whom Saudi Arabia is justifiably proud.

“Through this annual race day we aim to educate racegoers about the global impact of Prince Khalid and continue to build on the quality and international spread of horses competing in his namesake race.”

The SR1 million ($266,000) contest will see 14 runners compete over 2,100m on the turf course.

Spearheading the international challenge is the Fawzi Nass-trained Qaader, who will be making his fourth start in Saudi Arabia after several promising runs last season.

Speaking about the race, the Bahrain-based trainer said: “It’s an absolute pleasure to be running in a race in his [Prince Khalid’s] name.”

Qaader has been reportedly working well ahead of his first start of the season, and Nass said: “He worked yesterday and had a good blow after his work, so I think that should put him just right.

“It’s a competitive race obviously, and he’s carrying top-weight, but hopefully he should go well.

“Adrie de Vries is going to fly in from Dubai [to ride]. He’s got a good draw in three, so there will be no excuses.”

Should Qaader perform well on Saturday, Nass is hoping to bring him back for further races in Riyadh this season.

“The plan is to come back for the race he ran third in last year, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup over 10 furlongs on the dirt on January 28.

“Let’s get past these two hurdles and then we’ll see what’s next.”

Last year’s inaugural running of the Prince Khalid Bin Abdullah Cup was won by Star Of Wins for owner Refaei Sanat Alghuraban, trainer Fawaz Alghareeban and jockey Camilo Ospina. 

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