Free Horse Racing Tips - Saudi Cup 2020

Not everyone agrees with the politics of Saudi Arabia, but it’s easy to see why the inaugural running of the Saudi Cup (Saturday 29 February) has attracted horses from around the world. The first prize is a cool $10,000,000, whilst the horses finishing between second and ninth will share another $10,000,000 between them.

The aim of HRH Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al Faisal is to develop horse racing in Saudi Arabia along the lines of what Meydan Racecourse in Dubai has achieved, and the King Abdulaziz Racetrack has been praised by those that have seen it.

The Saudi Cup also fits nicely into the program of many of the world’s top dirt horses, as it takes place one month before the Dubai World Cup and one month after the Pegasus World Cup. The card at King Abdulaziz also features some strong supporting races, including the Mohamed Yousuf Naghi Motors Cup and the STC 1351 Sprint Cup.

Mohamed Yousuf Naghi Motors Cup (13.00)

The Mohamed Yousuf Naghi Motors Cup takes place over 1m 2f 110y and it has attracted a cosmopolitan field of horses rated between 99 and 119.

Port Lions has registered plenty of wins since his move from Ireland to current-trainer F. Nass, but this is a big step-up in class for the 5-year-old. Mount Everest represents Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore and, though he only won a Listed Race in five starts last season, he did run to a high-level when sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. However, that may not have been a particularly strong renewal of that race and he finished well behind the re-opposing Deirdre in the Japan Cup.

That form gives Deirdre a massive chance, whilst the handicapper has her 5lb clear of ratings, and she receives a useful 5lb from the boys. A Group 1 winner at Goodwood earlier in the season, she’s expected to get favourite backers off to a good start.

Tip: Deirdre @ 1.57 Bet365 or Ladbrokes

STC 1351 Sprint Cup (13.35)

The STC 1351 Sprint Cup takes place over the intermediate trip of 6f 110y, and it will be interesting to see whether the horses who are better over 6-furlongs or 7-furlongs come out on top.

Sir Dancelot is respected, as he has some top-class form at 6-furlongs, but he normally records his wins over 7-furlongs. However, he usually needs his first couple of runs of the season to reach his peak and he’s been off the track for 146-days. He also didn’t run up to his rating on his travels last season to Japan.

Glorious Journey has much less to prove, as he’s won over 6 and 7 furlongs, and proved he’s a good traveller when winning at Meydan last time. That means he’s race-fit, and he conceded 3lb to some decent horses on that occasion. He can race off level-weights here and was on top at this trip when winning over 7-furlongs last time.

Tip: Glorious Journey @ 3.25 Ladbrokes or Coral

Saudi Cup (17.40)

The world’s richest horse race takes place over 9 furlongs on dirt, with 14 runners set to go to post. Capezzano put in one of his spectacular front-running performances to win at Meydan be 7-lengths 16 days ago, but he might not be able to repeat that performance here from what could be a tricky draw in stall-13. It’s worth remembering he sulked in last season’s Dubai World Cup, when he couldn’t lead, and the horse that stopped him doing that, North America, looks better drawn in stall 4.

Gronkowski finished best of the horses that ran in last season’s Dubai World Cup, but he was beaten over 8-lengths by Benbatl at Meydan when the pair met at Meydan just 23 days ago. Benbatl was race-fit on that occasion, but it’s worth remembering Gronkowski was heavily backed into joint favouritism there, possibly because Benbatl was unproven on dirt before that run.

America must also have a great chance of winning the inaugural running of the Saudi Cup. But Mucho Gusto needs to step up again on ratings after winning over 9-furlongs in the US last time. Maximum Security has also given Mucho Gusto weight and a beating in the past, whilst McKinzie is another top American horse that has an obvious chance.

But the vote goes to Benbatl, whose record over 9-furlongs reads 1/1/1/2/1/1. His draw in stall 3 should also allow him to closely track what could be a furious pace, and he can hopefully get first-run on his main rivals, that are all drawn wider than him.

Tip: Benbatl (Each-Way) @ 7.50 Bet365 or Coral