$2M Obaiya Arabian Classic Upgraded to Listed Status

Obaiya Cup Arabian Race prize money increased from $1.9m to $2m

Tallaab Al Khalediah

Tallaab Al Khalediah Photo by Doug Felice

19 January 2020, KSA ~ The USD $2M Obaiya Arabian Classic, to be run on Saudi Cup Day, 20 February, now has Listed status after receiving an upgrade from the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing this week.

The 2000m dirt contest, which saw a prize money increase from $1.9m to $2m following its inaugural running, is the world’s richest race for Purebred Arabians and is staged as part of a $30.5m eight-race card on Saudi Cup day, February 20, 2021.

It is the first Saudi Cup race to receive black type status and HRH Prince Bandar Bin Khalid Al Faisal, Chairman of the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia, was hopeful it was a sign of things to come for the thoroughbred races on the card, including the $20m Saudi Cup.

“This is an incredibly exciting announcement for The Saudi Cup. We are delighted to have attained this achievement for the Obaiya Arabian Classic race in such a short time,” he said.

“Our goal is to continually improve international racing in the Kingdom, attracting the best Purebred Arabian and thoroughbred horses in the world.

Having Listed status for the Obaiya Arabian Classic in only its second year is a great first step towards realising our ambitions of having international Group races across the card and seeing Saudi Arabia promoted to a Part I racing country by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities.”

Entries for the 2021 Obaiya Arabian Classic were announced last week and are headlined by the Group 1-winning Messi (BEL), trained by Timo Keersmaekers in Belgium and last year’s winner Tallaab Al Khalediah (KSA), trained locally by Mutlaq bin Mushref.

Photo:Jockey Roberto Perez riding the Mutlaq bin Mushref-trained Tallaab Al Khalediah to victory in the inaugural Obaiya Arabian Classic at The Saudi Cup on Saturday February 29, 2020 at King Abdulaziz Racecourse. CREDIT: Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia//Doug De Felice