Britain’s richest race presents greater than £921,000 (greater than $1 million) to the winner today, however even that bumper pot is dwarfed by among the riches on provide world wide.
The Pegasus even boosted its pot to $16M the next 12 months, earlier than dropping the purse to $9 million and spreading the wealth throughout two races in 2019.
The query is: the place will all of it finish?
‘One of many nice conferences’
In line with Alastair Donald, of world race promoter the Worldwide Racing Bureau, the Saudi Cup is not only a brazen try to be greatest and greatest.
He attracts parallels with the Dubai World Cup, which was devised by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 1996.
“I do not suppose being the richest was the intention,” stated Donald of the Saudi Cup.
“It was identical to Sheikh Mohammed’s intention to create one thing that was particular on the time by way of being price some huge cash. That was simply a part of the plan to place Dubai on the map as a racing nation and as someplace that was going to turn into a vacation vacation spot.
“I feel it was profitable and has stood the take a look at of time – it is nonetheless one of many nice conferences.”
He added: “That is headline-grabbing stuff and it is extra about making a press release about Saudi Arabia to announce itself to the racing world and create one thing that is a press release of intent.”
After two chart-topping years, Pegasus organizers break up the money throughout the unique filth race and a brand new turf race to draw extra worldwide expertise.
“It is nearly evolving,” Tim Rivto, COO of organizer The Stronach Group, instructed CNN Sport. “I feel after we look again in 20 years, it may look very completely different from what it appeared like to start with.”
The Saudi Cup is the most recent in a collection of sport and leisure ventures aimed toward enhancing the picture of Saudi Arabia to the broader world.
Prince Bandar bin Khalid al Faisal, chairman of the Jockey Membership of Saudi Arabia, says he hopes the occasion will entice racing followers to “come and take a better have a look at our tradition and our nation: discover a spot they’d by no means considered visiting and maybe see it anew.”
“The Saudi Cup is just like what Dubai has finished,” provides Donald, whose firm was pivotal within the launch of the Dubai World Cup in addition to the profitable Breeders’ Cup 12 years earlier plus the Japan Cup, first run in 1981.
“It has been fairly fastidiously chosen by way of its timing and the place it matches within the calendar between the Pegasus and the Dubai World Cup.
“Plus, the world wants new folks to return to the market. This may carry extra Saudi house owners into the sport including to the present markets.”
Donald is assured that the Saudi Cup is right here to remain because the world’s richest race for the foreseeable future, with no present different race suitor lurking with bottomless pockets.
“I do not suppose that many locations are able to stage the richest race,” he added.
“The proof can be within the pudding and solely time will inform. I do not suppose others will push the envelope for now. I definitely do not suppose we will get into a contest of 1 nation making an attempt to outdo one other. I do not suppose it will, for instance, act as a spur for Sheikh Mohammed.
“The races aren’t in competitors with each other. We’re all the time making an attempt to open into new markets and that is one.”
The inaugural Saudi Cup will happen on the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh on February 29 on filth over 9 furlongs.