Saudi Cup: Ushba Tesoro will get the perfect setup

For anyone serious about betting horse racing, you cannot miss the $20 million Saudi Cup (G1) on Saturday, February 24 at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh! The 1,800-meter dirt race, about 1 ⅛ miles for those accustomed to furlongs, drew an overflow field of top horses from around the world.

The Saudi Cup is one of the newest traditions in horse racing, as it has only run since 2020. However, the purse is the richest of any horse race in the world, and therefore it draws some of the best in the game.

Both the size of the field and the variance of international contenders make the Saudi Cup one of the best betting opportunities of the year. Horses based in the United States, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Japan have all won the race, meaning you cannot count out horses coming from anywhere.

Keep reading to find out the best contenders in the 2024 Saudi Cup, and to find out the best places to bet the race online!

Where to Bet the Saudi Cup

Before you bet a single dollar on the Saudi Cup, make sure to maximize your profits by signing up for the best online sportsbook. Where you bet matters: choosing the right online betting site means you will ensure yourself the best odds and the most lucrative bonuses, and therefore make the most of your bankroll.

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Saudi Cup Horses and Odds

This is the official field for the 2024 Saudi Cup in wagering number order, with trainers, jockeys, and post draws. Note that betting numbers in Saudi Arabia are different than post positions, so posts are noted separately.

  1. Carmel Road (Abdullah Albadah/Camillo Ospina) – post position 14
  2. Crown Pride (Koichi Shintani/Joao Moreira) – post position 6
  3. Defunded (Abdulaziz Mishref/Luis Saez) – post position 9
  4. Derma Sotogake (Hidetaka Otonashi/Christophe Lemaire) – post position 13
  5. Hoist the Gold (Dallas Stewart/John Velazquez) – post position 8
  6. Isolate (Doug Watson/Joel Rosario) – post position 2
  7. Lemon Pop (Hiroyasu Tanaka/Ryusei Sakai) – post position 3
  8. Meisho Hario (Inao Okada/Suguru Hamanaka) – NON-RUNNER
  9. National Treasure (Bob Baffert/Flavien Prat) – post position 7
  10. Power in Numbers (Ahmed Mohamoud/Adel Alfouraidi) – post position 10
  11. Saudi Crown (Brad Cox/Florent Geroux) – post position 5
  12. Senor Buscador (Todd Fincher/Junior Alvarado) – post position 4
  13. Ushba Tesoro (Noboru Takagi/Yuga Kawada) – post position 11
  14. White Abarrio (Richard Dutrow/Irad Ortiz, Jr.) – post position 1
  15. Scotland Yard (Mutaeb Almulawah) – post position 12

Scotland Yard was originally an also-eligible, but has drawn into the field with the Thursday defection of Meisho Hario.

These are the odds at the top of the market for the horses in the field. Keep an eye on them as the race gets closer, and be ready to place your bet when you see an overlay on your pick. Remember that betting online is your best option in the Saudi Cup because you can lock in your odds on major races at the moment you bet. Instead of waiting until post time for your price, like you have to at the track, you can bet with confidence and lock in the best price just by betting!

BovadaBetOnline ReviewBetUS Review
White Abarrio+250+250+250
Lemon Pop+500+500+500
Derma Sotogake+575+575+575
National Treasure+650+650+650
Ushba Tesoro+700+700+700

Free Saudi Cup Picks

You have your betting account set up. Now, it’s time for the most fun part of all: meeting the horses and finding out who to bet in the 2024 Saudi Cup!

Saudi Cup Win Candidates

Ushba Tesoro is the best bet in the Saudi Cup. The race should have a hot pace with speedy types like Saudi Crown, National Treasure, and Hoist the Gold in the field. Ushba Tesoro is in the perfect position to take advantage: he can settle virtually anywhere in the pack and make a winning run. Plus, his ship to Meydan to win the Dubai World Cup last year means he has proven he can get on a plane and still bring his best.

Ushba Tesoroto win the Saudi Cup
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In addition to Ushba Tesoro, Senor Buscador should also be making a strong late run. He is a consistent American runner who comes in off of a second-place finish in the Pegasus World Cup. He faces National Treasure again, but that foe should have a tougher time up front, meaning Senor Buscador likely gets an even better setup, and could turn the tables at a big price.

Senor Buscadorto win the Saudi Cup
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Lemon Pop, like Ushba Tesoro based in Japan, has a strong chance as well. He will likely be closer to the speed than Ushba Tesoro is, but he has a well-proven stalking gear. He also proved last out at Chukyo that he can stretch out to nine furlongs against good horses, something he will be doing again in the Saudi Cup.

Strong Exotics Candidates

Breeders’ Cup Classic winner White Abarrio could turn up with another good effort. All the speed in the race is not the best setup for him, but unlike some of the other pace horses he has a tactical gear, so he may be able to conserve some energy by laying just off a fight up front. The nine-furlong distance suits him well, he has consistently shown up since moving to the Dutrow barn, and he runs well off a layoff.

Every year there is a Saudi Arabia-based local who outruns their odds, and in 2024 Power in Numbers looks like the one who can. Though he wasn’t a top-class horse during the American phase of his career, he has been strong since moving to the Middle East. He was second in his first start in his new country, and followed that up with four straight wins over the local course. With the pace versatility to work out a good trip, expect Power In Numbers to be a live longshot.

Saudi Cup Free Picks

Now that you have your betting account and you’ve gotten to know the field, there’s just one thing left to do: place your bets! Here are the best bets for Saturday’s 2024 Saudi Cup:

  • $20 to win – #13 Ushba Tesoro
  • $10 each-way – #12 Senor Buscador
  • $1 exacta key – #13 Ushba Tesoro with #7 Lemon Pop, #12 Senor Buscador
  • $0.50 trifecta key – #13 Ushba Tesoro with #7 Lemon Pop, #10 Power in Numbers, #12 Senor Buscador, #14 White Abarrio
  • $0.20 superfecta key – #13 Ushba Tesoro with #7 Lemon Pop, #10 Power in Numbers, #12 Senor Buscador, #14 White Abarrio
Ushba Tesoroto win the Saudi Cup
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Rowan Ward

They have been attending the races regularly for over ten years, since catching the horse racing bug at the 2013 Arlington Million. Since then their writing has appeared in their own blog and across the horse racing internet. They are still at Hawthorne for every day of live racing, and their focuses within horse racing include national stakes races, local Chicago-area racing, and pedigree.