King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh is set to host the second running of the Prince Khalid Bin Abdullah Cup on Saturday, highlighting the enduring horse racing legacy of the legendary Saudi Arabian owner-breeder.
Prince Khalid was known throughout the racing world as the founder of breeding operation Juddmonte, which produced over 200 Group 1 winners during his lifetime. The race offers a chance to honor and remember his long list of achievements in the sport.
Prince Bandar Bin Khalid Al-Faisal, chairman of the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia, 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 honoring 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 approximate $266,000 (SR1 million) contest will see 14 runners compete over 2100m on the turf course.
Spearheading the international challenge is Fawzi Nass-trained Qaader, who will make his fourth start in Saudi Arabia after several promising runs last season.
Speaking on 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 reportedly worked 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 Jan. 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.
This year’s event will be an opportunity to remember some of Juddmonte Farms’ greatest achievements, chief among them being the career of now retire British thoroughbred Frankel.
Born on February 2008, Frankel went undefeated throughout his 14-race career and was one of the main reasons behind the success of Prince Khaled bin Abdullah’s farms.
The horse was named after the renowned and late American trainer Bobby Frankel, who holds the records for first category races with 25 wins, in addition to 60 victories in Hollywood Park races.
Unfortunately, Bobby died before having the chance to witness the incredible achievements of Frankel on international tracks.
The late British trainer Henry Cecil accompanied the horse throughout its racing career, in which Frankel took part in and won 14 races, 10 of which were first-class victories.