Emblem Road, a son of Quality Road, won the richest race in the world, the $20 million Saudi Cup, today. The relatively unknown 4-year old colt beat some big name competition including Mandaloun (recently named the Kentucky Derby winner), Mischriff, the defending champion, Art Collector and Midnight Bourbon.
Emblem Road overcame a slow start, after breaking last from the gate. Jockey Wigberto Ramos kept Emblem Road at the back of the field until he ran into the bend. Running five wide, Emblem Road started passing horses and finally grabbed the lead from Country Grammer, winning by half a length.
Emblem Road, owned by Prince Saud bin Salman Abdulaziz, has raced exclusively in Saudi Arabia on this track, winning seven of nine starts and never finishing off the board.
Ramos explained how he put his knowledge of the course to good use. “My horse ran a great race and I broke good and my horse was very strong,” he said. “He wanted to go early, but I took my time with him and took a little hold and saw another horse, so then I just waited for the 500 metres to ask him. The key on this track is that you have to be near the front when you pass the 800 metres. If you’re near, you are in a good position and outside is the best part of the track. It’s a big turn, so when you put a horse who comes from behind all the way on the outside, they finish a lot better. I knew that I could do it, but now that I’ve done it, I still don’t believe it. I beat so many good horses and this is the biggest race in the world. I think he could go on to the Dubai World Cup. He’s the kind of horse who can do it.”