The new Saudi Arabian racing season begins on June 1 at King Khalid Racecourse in Ta'if, where the programme has been “significantly expanded”.
With an earlier resumption to racing in 2023, an extra 54 races have been scheduled through to the close of the season on October 7. From a record total of 486 races, 187 will be for local and imported horses (up from 147), 193 for locally-bred horses only (up from 188) and 108 for Purebred Arabian horses (up from 49).
The Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Cup and the Listed King Faisal Cup take place on Saturday, September 2, with the Ta'if Derby 20 days later. Prize-money for each of the Thursday meetings has been increased by 25%.
“The growth of racing in Ta'if for the 2023 season further demonstrates our aim to develop the sport of horse racing in Saudi Arabia and underscores our commitment to securing a bright future for Purebred Arabian racing,” said Prince Abdullah Bin Khaled Al Saud, chairman of the JCSA's Technical Committee.
“The expanded fixture list as well as the significant increase in prize-money offers trainers more opportunity for all categories of horse.
“Our 193 races tailored specifically to locally bred horses supports our all-important domestic breeding industry and Purebred Arabian horses now have more than double the opportunity when compared to last season.
“Coupled with our juvenile racing schedule we see Ta'if as a significant season in its own right, but it also serves as an excellent launch pad to the Riyadh racing season and gives visitors the chance to view the equine superstars of tomorrow.”