THE Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia, amid new uncertainty about travel, has announced a likely field for the $20 million Saudi Cup on Feb. 20 that would pit American runners Charlatan, Knicks Go (photo), and others against solid international competition.
The eventual shape of the fields for the Saudi Cup itself and its attendant races could shift as a result of the ongoing battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. The Feb. 4 announcement came just two days after the Saudi government imposed sweeping new travel restrictions that prohibit visitors to the to the Kingdom from 20 countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom
Tom Ryan, the Jockey Club’s director of strategy and international racing, nonetheless sounded a positive note in outlining the potential runners.
“The entire team are working incredibly hard to deliver a world-class event where the health and safety of all participants is paramount,” Ryan said. “It has obviously been a difficult year for everyone, and we are glad that we are able to put on this meeting for racing fans all over the world to enjoy.”
If all the expected runners show up, the programs on Feb. 19 and Feb. 20 at King Abdulaziz Racecourse will include 77 overseas contenders from 13 countries with 24 group 1 or grade 1 wins among them. – Extracts, Bloodhorse.