On Saturday February 20, at King Abdulaziz Equestrian Square in Janadriyah in Riyadh, the Saudi horse, Musharraf, owned by Prince Abdul Rahman bin Abdullah Al-Faisal, surpassed Charlatan in the last hundred meters and snatched the title of the second edition of the Saudi Equestrian Cup with the $10 million prize, which is the most expensive prize in the world.
Under the guidance of the famous British coach John Gossden, the Irish rider, David Egan, upended his pause in the last meters, and covered the distance of 1,800m with a time of 1:49.59 minutes, in the presence of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Musharraf bears the name of a friend of his Saudi owner who died.
Musharraf (4-years-old) took revenge for itself after arriving in the summer of the first edition last year behind the American horse Maximum Security, and participated in the Saturday race after being crowned the French derby for the first category last summer, to beat Charlatan crowned in the Malibu race at the Santa Anita track in California.
“This is unbelievable,” said 21-year-old Egan after winning, “I have dreamed of winning such a race. Of course this is my best achievement; the Saudi Cup is the most expensive in the world. I would like to thank Prince Al-Faisal, Mr. Gossden and his entire team… and of course Musharraf is a hero”.
“Last year he was a supervisor with little experience in jumping, but this year he acquired it with Mr. Gossden, and he became the million dollar horse … I mean the $10 million!”
Charlatan, coming from California with imagination Mike Smith, won the second place prize of $3.5 million, and Gret Scott the third with a value of $2 million, while the total prizes for the most expensive race in the world reached $20 million.
The American horse, Nex Go, came to the Korean Racing Authority, after being crowned one of the most important American races, the Braders Cup for a distance of one mile (1.6 km), in addition to winning the “Pegasus” World Cup, through which he was nominated to participate directly in the Saudi Cup.
Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al-Faisal, Chairman of the Equestrian Authority and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Horse Racing Club, valued in a statement to AFP the support the horse racing industry finds in the Kingdom, stressing that “the participation of the most prominent horses in the world in the race enriched the competition, increased its excitement and made it the focus of attention of horse owners and racing enthusiasts.”
For two days, Riyadh hosted the “Saudi Cup” with a total of more than $30 million in prizes. It is part of a series of sporting events hosted by Saudi Arabia as it seeks to open up and improve its image in front of the world.
After being known for decades for its conservative nature, the Kingdom is working to change its stereotype, especially at a time when it is being criticized for its record in the field of human rights.