top of page
  • Writer's pictureHilary McCormack

Saudi Cup 2022

Updated: Mar 23, 2022

Emblem Road making it look easy

The Saudi Cup, held annually on Saturday 26th February, is run over nine furlongs (1800 meters) on a dirt track and is the richest horse race in the world.

A view of the paddock

It's a long way from Kilbeggan country racing, wherein my youth, my family, and I went each season to sit in the rain, eat cheese and tomato sandwiches, and drink tea from a flask as we cheered on our local heroes to be first past the post. Kilbeggan Racecourse is a country horse racing venue in Co Westmeath, my homeland. Its first recorded race was in 1840, and it is a national hunt venue and hosts various racing events throughout the summer, almost always in the evenings. In that regard alone, it is similar to the magnificence of the annual Saudi Cup.

Traditional ceremonial costumes for local men

The 2022 Saudi Cup was the third edition of this exciting racing event in Riyadh that attracts the best horses and riders in the world. The hospitality and entertainment improve year on year. Plus, I loved being greeted by warm and friendly young Saudis who were efficient and all elegantly dressed in beautiful uniforms—a perfect compliment to the 100 Saudi brands exhibition, a celebration of local designers organized in cooperation with the Saudi Fashion Authority.

The annual richest race in the world is held at King Abdulaziz Racecourse north of Riyadh and is an exciting two days of on-track horse racing action consisting of 16 races and boasting a combined prize purse of USD$35.1m. The crowd went wild as this year's winner Saudi-trained Emblem Road romped home in a late surge to claim a shock win in the $20 million Saudi Cup in Riyadh, which was beamed into more than 350million homes worldwide.

This year's winner was ridden by Panamanian jockey Wigberto Ramos and masterfully charged up the outside in the home straight to beat out the United States pair of Country Grammar and Midnight Bourbon and win the tournament's third edition.

For the rest of the Saudi racing season, you can see Friday racing at the Equestrian Club, and I highly recommend the sumptuous buffet lunch served in the Jockey Club restaurant that looks down on the finishing post. More horse racing event details can be found here. To book the Horse Racing Club restaurant, use Whatapp number 00966503008044 or email

33 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page