Saudi Cup: Start Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, Post Positions and Odds

The richest event on the horse racing calendar begins Saturday, when some of the finest thoroughbreds in the world compete in the Saudi Cup.

Held at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the inaugural edition of the race carries the significant incentive of a $20 million dollar prize pool—which makes it the most lucrative event in the sport.

Half of the sum will go to the winner.

Five of the 14 horses listed for the Saudi Cup are Americans, led by champions Maximum Security, Midnight Bisou, and Grade 1 winner McKinzie.

The bookmakers favorite, at 5/2, Maximum Security won the Kentucky Derby last year before being disqualified for interference.

Despite the disappointment, 2019 was still a year to remember for the four-year-old colt, who won the Florida Derby, Haskell Invitational, Bold Ruler Handicap, and the Cigar Mile.

Midnight Bisou won seven of the eight races—including three Grade 1 meetings—she entered last year but will tackle male horses for the first time in her 2020 debut.
Mckenzie's record is similarly impressive, with 13 first or second place finishes in 14 starts. She tends to perform better over nine furlongs than on longer distances.

Benbatl arrives into the race as the bookmakers' third-favorite after marking his dirt track debut with a relatively easy win at the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2, a Grade 2 race, earlier this year.

The field on Saturday, however, is far stronger and could work against the British thoroughbred, but trainer Saeed bin Suroor struck a confident tone earlier this week.

"It would mean a lot for us to win," Bin Suroor said. "It is the first ever Saudi Cup and the first big international race in Saudi. It is a very important race and would be important for us to see him run well and win. He has been a very good Group 1 horse for us and very versatile. I'm very happy with him and I think he will give a good run."

Mucho Gusto and Capezzano are next line according to the bookmakers and both could spring a surprise. The former won the Pegasus World Cup earlier this year, albeit benefiting from a weaker than usual field, while the latter has six wins in 16 entries but may struggle to emerge in a star-studded field.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of Saturday.

When and where is the Saudi Cup?

The Saudi Cup takes place on Saturday, February 29 at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

A total of 16 races are scheduled over Friday and Saturday, with eight on each day.

On Saturday, the card gets underway at 10 a.m. ET with the Saudi Cup providing the grand finale.

The race will be contested over nine furlongs (1.1 miles, 1,800 metres)

Post time

Post time is scheduled for 12:40 p.m. ET.

TV channel

FOX Sports 1 will broadcast the Saudi Cup, while FOX Sports will air the undercard races.

Live stream

Live stream will be available via FOX Sports website and via the FOX Sports GO app, as well as via flosports.tv—which will also carry the other seven races on Saturday.

Saudi Cup, horse racing
Horses and jockeys take their position ahead of the start of a race at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on December 5, 2019. Neville Hopwood/Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia

Post positions

  1. Gold Dream
  2. Tacitus
  3. Benbatl
  4. North America
  5. Gronkowski
  6. Midnight Bisou
  7. Maximum Security
  8. Mucho Gusto
  9. McKinzie
  10. Chrysoberyl
  11. Great Scot
  12. Magic Wand
  13. Capezzano
  14. Mijack

Odds

While betting is illegal in Saudi Arabia, wagering on the Saudi Cup will be allowed overseas.

Maximum Security is the bookmakers' favorite to win the inaugural Saudi Cup.

According to William Hill, the thoroughbred enters the race as a 5/2 favorite, followed by fellow American McKinzie, a Grade 1 race winner, second at 3/1.

Benbatl is third-favorite at 11/2, while Capezzano and Mucho Gusto, also a Grade 1 winner, are both 6/1.