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Impressive Nominations for First Saudi Cup
In a press release, The Saudi Cup organisers announced that the first running of the USD$29.2m Saudi Cup race day has attracted an impressive list of nominations, including no less than 32 Gr1 winners in the big race alone, across an eight-race card. Held at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh on Saturday February 29, 2020 the Saudi Cup will kick off a new era in Saudi Arabian horseracing, highlighted by the creation of the first turf track in the country's history. The Saudi Cup which, with a $20m prize purse, assumes the mantle of the world's most valuable race, has attracted more than 140 nominations, representing four continents, 16 countries and more than 60 trainers around the globe and will be held over 1800m on dirt. Nominations include Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute-Diva Delite, by Repent), trained by Steve Asmussen, Grade 1 Cigar Mile winner and four-time Grade 1 star, Maximum Security (New Year's Day-Lil Indy, by Anasheed), prepared by Jason Servis, and the Bob Baffert-trained Breeder's Cup Classic runner up, McKinzie (Street Sense-Runway Model, by Petionville). The 2100m $2.5m Neom Turf Cup entry list includes Aidan O'Brien's incredibly tough mare, Magic Wand (Galileo-Prudenzia, by Dansili), as well as her stablemate, Anthony Van Dyck (Galileo-Believe'n'succeed, by Exceed and Excel). Godolphin's Benbatl (Dubawi-Nahrain, by Selkirk) and Japanese star and Goodwood Nassau Stakes winner, Deirdre (Harbinger-Reizend, by Special Week), trained by Mitsuru Hashida are also among the entries. Tom Ryan, Director of Strategy and International Racing for the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia was thrilled by the strong levels of global interest in the race day. "The response to the Saudi Cup from the international racing community has been fantastic," he said. "We couldn't be happier with the entries that we've received and we are now fully focused on putting on a spectacular first Saudi Cup race day to live up to the calibre of these entries."