The newly formed Saudi Cup will be taking place at the end of the month and is set to be the world’s richest horse race with prize money of $20 million. This means it will join the Cheltenham betting offers, with bookmakers pushing both events. American horses are heading up the field of 11, in what is an international field. So here we cover the three leading horses in the market at present.
Heading up the market is the four year old, Jason Servis trained Maximum Security. He has won six of his eight starts under rules and has also won his last three starts. This run started with him winning the Grade one Haskell Invitational stakes at Monmouth Park. Following a 98 day break, he returned by winning the Grade three Bold runner handicap at Belmont Park. Finally, he was very impressive in winning the Grade one Cigar Mile at Aqueduct. Maximum Security now heads into the race as the horse to beat and is the leading American horse.
Next in the market and another leading American horse going into the race is McKinzie. The five year old is trained by Bob Baffert and has won seven of his 14 starts under rules. He has won one of his last three starts but is a very consistent horse. His last win came in the Grade one Whitney stakes, when he was very impressive in beating Yoshida. Following a 57 day break, he returned by finishing second in the Grade one Awesome Again stakes at Santa Anita. McKinzie then contested the Longines Breeders’ Cup and produced a career best to finish a clear second to runaway winner Vino Rosso. A similar performance and he is likely to take all the beating in this upcoming race.
Third in the betting is the UK trained Benbatl. The six year old is trained by Saeed bin Suroor and has long been known for his exploits on the turf. This is why it is surprising he is now being set the task to race on the dirt. Benbatl has won 10 of his 20 starts under rules, that includes winning three of his last four starts. The first of this came when be produced a career best to win a Group two at Newmarket by five lengths from King of Comedy. Following this he ran no race due to the ground in the Queen Elizabeth at Royal Ascot. Benbatl was then given a 82 day break and returned by winning a weak group two with ease at Meydan. Next he was set the task of contesting his first race on the dirt. This was a Group two and he was very impressive in winning easily from Military Law and Gronkowski. If Benbatl can produce his best form on the dirt, then he could also be the one to land this race.