Saudi Cup Promoted to Group 1 Status


Mishriff won the 2021 $20-million Saudi Cup | Coady Photography/VidHorse

Saudi Arabia's $20-million Saudi Cup has been awarded Group 1 status beginning in 2022 it was announced during Monday's virtual meeting of the Executive Council of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA).

The move follows the promotion of both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain from Part III to Part II of the ICS Book by the International Grading and Race Planning Advisory Committee (IRPAC). In addition, the Neom Turf Cup, Saudi Derby, STC 1,351 Turf Sprint, Riyadh Dirt Sprint and Red Sea Turf, as well as Bahrain's Bahrain International Trophy have all gained Group 3 status. A trio of races are now considered international listed races-the Al Methaq Cup, His Majesty the King's Cup and His Royal Crown Prince Cup-all in Bahrain. The Society of International Thoroughbred Auctioneers (SITA) approved the measures.

Also, during the meeting led by IFHA Chair Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, terms began for Jim Gagliano, Brian Kavanagh, Masayuki Goto, and Horacio Esposito as Vice-Chairs of the IFHA. The Chair and Vice-Chairs of the Federation will serve a three-year mandate from 2021 to 2024. Both Bruce Sherwin, Director of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing and Dr. Paull Khan, Secretary-General of the European and Mediterranean Horseracing Federation (EMHF) were appointed to the IFHA Executive Council.

That body also endorsed the chair and nominations to the IFHA Finance Committee, which will be chaired by Jim Lawson of Woodbine Entertainment Group. Oscar Bertoletti, CEO of OSAF; Olivier Delloye, CEO of France Galop; Suzanne Eade, Chief Executive for Horse Racing Ireland; and Greg Nichols, Director of Racing Australia, constitute the Finance Committee. The Governance Committee Chair will be BHA Chief Executive Julie Harrington. A new Commercial and Marketing Committee was formed, with Olivier Delloye to serve as its chair.

The Executive Council also approved the selection of key positions for its global Executive Office, and Andrew Harding will continue to lead the Executive Office as the Federation's Executive Director. Andrew Chesser, Manager of Registration Services for The Jockey Club (USA) and previously Secretary General for the IFHA; James Ogilvy, Executive Manager, International and Racing Regulation at The Hong Kong Jockey Club and previously Technical Advisor for the IFHA; and Henri Pouret, Managing Director, Racing Operations for France Galop, were all named Directors of the IFHA global Executive Office. For more information on these appointments, please visit the IFHA website.

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