Three Superstar Jockeys Confirmed for stc International Jockeys Challenge
Australian legend Glen Boss comes out of retirement, last year's champion Shane Foley returns and Hayley Turner makes first trip to Saudi Arabia
Shane Foley winning his second race at the 2021 stc International Jockeys Challenge aboard Motawariyah - Credit: Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia // Neville Hopwood
The first three jockeys in the 2022 stc International Jockeys Challenge have been announced, with recently retired Australian superstar Glen Boss climbing back into the saddle to compete in the four-race competition.
Last year’s winner Shane Foley returns to defend his crown and Hayley Turner, the first female jockey in Britain to ride 100 winners in a calendar year, will also take her place in the line-up of seven female and seven male riders.
Boss (52), best known for winning three straight Melbourne Cups with Makybe Diva, as well as an astonishing 90 Group 1s in a glittering career, is looking forward to his return to race riding:
“I feel privileged and honoured to be a part of the 2022 International Jockeys Challenge at The Saudi Cup,” said Boss. “I am extremely grateful to be representing Australia on the international stage and am eagerly looking forward to my arrival in Saudi Arabia for their prestigious carnival.”
“I have watched the rapid rise of this meeting in recent years, highlighted by the diverse international participation and significant prize purse on offer. To be able to participate in 2022 as a representative of Australia fills me with great pride and I very much look forward to being a part of it.”
Foley (33) won this year’s stc International Jockeys Challenge and as the reigning champion is invited back to compete again.
“I really enjoyed my first International Jockeys Challenge,” said Foley. “It was a pleasure to ride against some great jockeys and I thought the track rode very well. It’s nice to see them including the turf in this year’s event, which might even give the European jockeys a bit of an edge.”
“I knew after reading through the form last year that I had a couple of okay rides and it really is down to the luck of the draw in these jockey challenges. I got a few good chances, and it all went well for me thankfully. You need to get drawn on the good horses.”
“I’m having an operation on my hip this week and so will be out of action for about six weeks, but I should be back riding and ready to go a good fortnight before the meeting.”
“The prize money is brilliant, and you just have to see the list of jockeys that go out there to gauge how important it is for us. It’s nice to be competing alongside them all and the likes of Saudi, Dubai and Bahrain are the places we need to be during the winter.”
“I know Jessie [Harrington] will be aiming a couple for the Saturday too, including Ever Present in the Red Sea Turf and possibly Confident Star in the Saudi Derby, so it would be nice to have some rides on Saudi Cup day too.”
Turner (38) is one of Britain’s most successful female jockeys and is also excited about the challenge, especially as she’s had a spell on the sidelines after breaking her thumb.
“This will be my first time riding in Saudi and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Turner. “Hollie [Doyle] rode out there this year and I’ve spoken to a few others who have said it’s a really nice track to ride.”
“Apparently it’s a bit like Belmont Park and I’ve ridden there a few times before. It’s exciting to be part of The Saudi Cup meeting; it’s been attracting a lot of people. The prize money is amazing so it’s easy to see why.”
“I always enjoy riding in jockey challenges. I’ve taken part in quite a few – Mauritius, South Africa, Japan, Ireland and France – and obviously the Shergar Cup is one of my favourites. It will be nice to tick another one off the list.”
“I’m staying in the UK this winter. I’ve had a great year, but it got cut short a bit when I broke my thumb at Wolverhampton a few weeks ago. I’ll be back riding in the next couple of weeks and it will be great to get back out on the track.”
The stc International Jockeys Challenge features four handicap races being run for $400,000 each, with a further $100,000 prize fund for the challenge itself.
This year one race over 1200m will be run on turf for the first time and all races will consist of 14 runners and five reserves, with all 14 jockeys riding in each race.
The jockeys are made up of seven international female riders, five international men and two local men with the jockeys receiving 15% of prize money won.
About The Saudi Cup
||Organised by the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia and run at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, The Saudi Cup is a two-day festival of international racing headlined by the USD$20m Saudi Cup – the world’s most valuable race.
Established in 2020 with the third renewal set to be run on Saturday February 26, 2022, The Saudi Cup day card carries a total prize purse of $30.5m and features dirt and turf races for the highest calibre of racehorses in the world.
A full card of racing on the preceding Friday includes an International Jockeys Challenge which sees seven female and seven male jockeys compete as individuals as well as the $500,000 Saudi International Handicap for horses trained in IFHA-registered Part II and III racing countries.
The Saudi Cup is charged with raising awareness of horse racing in the country, encouraging participation among men and women. It also aims to promote Saudi Arabia at international level, acting as a marker for the Kingdom’s transformational journey, encouraging tourism and investment.
Source: The Saudi Cup/Media