Dust Settles in the Desert: A Recap of the Thrilling 2024 Saudi Cup!

The sand has barely settled on the King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh, but the echoes of hooves and cheers still reverberate after a thrilling day of racing at the 2024 Saudi Cup. With purses totaling a staggering $35 million, the world’s richest horse racing event contested on Saturday, February 24 lived up to its billing, delivering nail-biting finishes and unexpected heroes.

Señor Buscador Steals the Show:

The main event, the $20 million Saudi Cup, saw a dramatic come-from-behind victory by 13-1 longshot Señor Buscador. Ridden by Junior Alvarado, the American-trained gelding trailed the pack for most of the race before launching a powerful late surge in the final furlong to snatch the win from Charoleton. This emotional victory capped a lifelong dream for owner Joey Peacock and New Mexico trainer Todd Fincher, proving that heart and determination can conquer even the toughest odds.

“He was unbelievable,” said jockey Junior Alvarado. “That horse that finished second passed us at the sixteenth pole. I was saying, ‘C’mon boy. C’mon boy. Keep going here.’ He kept going right down to the wire.”


The G3 Boutique Group Saudi Derby saw a dominant performance by Japanese champion Forever Young. Despite encountering early trouble, the rising star displayed incredible stamina to power through the field and cross the line first. This win cemented Forever Young’s status as a global force in horse racing and set the stage for an exciting future.

Bargain Buy Blazes to Sprint Glory:

The G3 Neom Turf Sprint witnessed a fairytale ending for Anaaf. This modestly priced gelding, ridden by Rossa Ryan, defied the odds to take home the win in a thrilling photo finish. His victory proved that talent can shine through, regardless of pedigree or price tag.

Other Notable Wins:

  • Remake captured the G3 Riyadh Dirt Sprint, showcasing his impressive speed on the dirt track.
  • Desert Hero triumphed in the G3 1351 Turf Cup, adding another chapter to his impressive career.
  • Mubasher claimed the G3 Neom Turf Cup, demonstrating his dominance in the staying division.

Beyond the Winners:

The 2024 Saudi Cup wasn’t just about the top finishers. The event showcased the incredible athleticism of the horses, the skill of the jockeys, and the dedication of trainers and owners from around the world. It served as a platform for international sporting collaboration and cultural exchange, bringing together horse racing enthusiasts from all corners of the globe.

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is an 18-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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