80-1 Shock Winner in World’s Richest Horse Race

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80-1 Shock Winner in World’s Richest Horse Race -

The Saudi Cup in Riyadh has been won by Emblem Road, an 80/1 outsider.

The world’s wealthiest horse race at £14.9 million, the Saudi Cup is coveted by horse owners from all over the world.

Emblem Road came from behind, pulling off a late sweeping move to beat the two other horses vying for the win, and to snatch victory at a whopping 80/1.

Saudi Owned Horse

Bred in Kentucky, Emblem Road is a four-year-old colt who has only been very lightly raced in recent years.

Trained by Mitab Al Mulawwah and owned by Prince Saud Bin Salman Abdulaziz, Emblem Road was ridden to victory by Panama jockey Wigberto Ramos.

Known to his peers as Wiggy, Ramos has been riding in Saudi for the past 24 years, where he has an outstanding record of winning. Among his career 1470 wins, claiming victory in the Florida Derby on Bull in the Heather is perhaps his most notable to date - until now. 

Wiggy wasn't the first choice to ride Emblem Road and hadn't ridden in the Saudi Cup before. The wealthiest horse racing competition on the planet, the Saudi Cup, was only created two years ago, and each time Wiggy was either injured or ill.

Fellow Panamanian rider Alexis Moreno had first pick of the horses and initially chose Emblem Road, leaving Wiggy with Making Miracles. But with a week to go, Moreno chose to switch, leaving Wiggy with Emblem Road, the eventual winner. 

The 53-year-old jockey admitted the win had meant a lot to him, and that he’d received a congratulatory message from the Vice President of Panama. Wiggy will pocket $1 million for the win.

Popular Winner

Emblem Road was a popular winner of the Saudi Cup because he's seen as a local horse. Despite being born in the US, the horse was brought to Saudi at two years old, where he's remained ever since.

At 80/1, he wasn't expected to come close to winning the prestigious race, but the experienced jockey suggested running off the pace and biding their time before making a move. The strategy was risky, but it paid off, leaving Emblem Road with the big-money win.

Tough Opposition

The race took place at the King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh and stretches over 1 1/8 miles, with Emblem Road claiming victory in 1:50:52.

Turning into the final straight, Emblem Road had a lot of ground to make up, lying seventh in the field. The strategy of leaving it late seemed to leave too much to do, but Wiggy had judged the speed of the horse exactly right.

With only half a furlong left to run, there was still a length between Emblem Road and the win but sweeping round the outside, the colt took victory, winning by half a length.

Country Grammar and Midnight Bourbon were the two horses that were beaten on the line, with Emblem Road’s stable mate, Making Miracles in fourth spot.

It was the first Saudi-trained winner of the relatively new event, and on the line, the Saudi prince owner and the crowd were unable to contain their delight.