RIYADH: A group of 12 American racehorses, with combined prize money earnings of more than $17.5 million, had their first look at Riyadh’s King Abdul Aziz Racecourse on Thursday as they touched down ahead of the $29.2 million Saudi Cup day.
First off the lorry at the King Abdul Aziz Racecourse Quarantine Facility was the Jason Servis-trained four-time Grade 1 winner and $20 million Saudi Cup contender, Maximum Security.
He was followed by Billy Batts, trained by Peter Miller, who will run in the Samba Saudi Derby, and sprint star Legends of War, who is prepared by Doug O’Neill.
Miller’s second two runners, Captain Scotty — who is in the Saudia Sprint — and Ghoul, touched down safely while highly anticipated Saudi Cup runners, Mucho Gusto and McKinzie, both trained by Bob Baffert, and the striking grey, Tacitus, trained by William Mott and owned by Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farm, were also safely settled into their stables.
The popular mare Midnight Bisou, who will take on the boys in the Saudi Cup and is trained by Steve Asmussen, had a good look around as she came off the lorry, along with stablemate and Samba Saudi Derby contender Rowdy Yates and Saudi Sprint runner Engage.
Sprinter Imperial Hint was taken of the horse box by trainer, Luis Carvajal.
Garrett Servis, son of trainer Jason who received Saudi Cup favorite Maximum Security, said: “He traveled well. I was in touch with the grooms on the flight so I had regular updates. He drank half his water and ate half his feed. We will be out for a hand walk after he gets settled.”
All the US horses who landed in Riyadh on Wednesday will be required to spend 48 hours inside the quarantine facility before they can head to the main track.
Tickets for Saudi Cup day and Kingdom Day are available from the Saudi Cup website: www.thesaudicup.com