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Picture: GETTY IMAGES/IAN FORSYTH
Picture: GETTY IMAGES/IAN FORSYTH

Trainer John Gosden’s globetrotting star Mishriff will overtake Winx as the all-time highest-earning racehorse if he wins the $20m Saudi Cup for the second year running on February 26.

The Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia says 700 entries from 22 countries have been received for the two-day festival that begins on February 25.          

“We couldn’t be happier with entries for the meeting. Not only do we have a huge number — over 300 more than last year — but the quality is exceptional with 71 grade 1 winners,” said Tom Ryan, director of international racing at the club.

The outstanding Australian mare Winx heads the standings as the world’s top earner with a stakes total of £14.3m. Second is US champion Arrogate with £13.6m and the Japanese horse Almond Eye with £13.1m.

The winner of the Saudi Cup earns $10m and is an alternative for trainers to the Dubai World Cup meeting held at the end of March.

The interesting aspect of Mishriff's challenge is whether last year’s winning rider David Egan will retain the ride or Gosden chooses to offer a possible big payday to one of his two regular riders, Frankie Dettori or Rob Havlin.

After his win in the Saudi Cup, Mishriff went on to capture the Sheema Classic in Dubai and the Juddmonte International at York in August. He ended 2021 with a fourth placing in the Champion Stakes at Newmarket in October.

Among the entries for the Saudi Cup are Pyledriver, who finished second in December’s Hong Kong Vase, as well as Sealiway and Skalleti.

Breeders Cup victor Knicks Go is another notable entry along with the Japanese duo of TO Keynes and Marche Lorraine.

However, it is another US horse, Life Is Good, owned by the China Horse Club and Winstar Farm’s, who has been priced up as the early favourite for the race.

The Thoroughbred Daily News reports that trainer Saeed bin Suroor is also pinpointing his top horse, Real World, owned by Godolphin, at the race. Bin Suroor commented: “He worked today and really worked well — he’s in good order and I’m very happy with him. I would like to give him a race at the end of this month.”

The supporting races all offer big prize money and two former inmates of Mike de Kock’s stable, Janoobi (a son of Silvano) and Marshall (a son of Vercingetorix), could both be in action at the two-day meeting.

The list of the all-time highest earning racehorses:

WINX £14.3m 

ARROGATE £13.6m

ALMOND EYE £13.1m

THUNDER SNOW £12.6m

GUN RUNNER £12.2m

GENTILLDONNA £12.2m

ORFEVRE £12.1m

KITASAN BLACK £11.4m

MISHRIFF £11.1m

ENABLE £10.7m

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