where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2024-02-23 08:33:41  
Rachel walks track, ready to fire in Saudi today

The fifth edition of the two-day festival kicks off today at 3:00 PM with the exciting International Jockeys’ Challenge starting in the second race. The festivities culminate on Saturday with the prestigious Saudi Cup, the world's richest race in an ever expanding landscape of Saudi racing. 

Accompanied by her mother, Marian, 22-year-old Rachel arrived from Durban via Doha on Tuesday morning. She walked the track on Thursday morning with Geoff Woodruff and our team at SAHorseracing.COM. The grass surface is a lovely cushioned surfact that's at its peak currently. We walked the entire circumference of the track. 

Rachel's inaugural ride on international turf will be aboard Aedate for the now Saudi based Geoff Woodruff at 3:35 PM SA Time. 

Rachel's four rides, all with promising prospects, are as follows:

- 3:35 PM: Race 2 - Aedate (KSA)
- 4:10 PM: Race 3 - Besht Alhakem (KSA)
- 5:20 PM: Race 5 - National Gallery (IRE)
- 5:55 PM: Race 6 - Cliffs Of Fury (GB)

The total prize pool for the festival is $37.6 million, with the Saudi Cup offering a staggering winner's purse of $10 million and race purse of $20 million.

The International Jockeys’ Challenge (IJC) features a four-race competition where Rachel competes against 13 other elite jockeys from around the globe, 7 male, 7 female. 

The lineup includes three-time Melbourne Cup victor Damien Oliver, America’s Katie Davies, reigning IJC champion Luis Saez, and New Zealand’s Lisa Allpress, who made history as the first woman to win a flat race in Saudi Arabia in 2020.

Representing France is Maryline Eon, while Britain is represented by 21-year-old Saffie Osborne, daughter of former National Hunt jockey Jamie Osborne. 

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