Princess Zoe’s connections will hope their decision to not send their star mare jumping this winter gets vindicated in style in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.
If focusing on the flat so close to Cheltenham is near heresy to some, then the richest horse race in the world is hard to argue with in terms of priority this weekend.
The third renewal of the $20 million Saudi Cup at the King Abdulaziz racetrack near Riyadh once again is accompanied by wider turbulence.
Whether it has been the Covid-19 pandemic, accusations of the $31 million meeting being used as ‘sports-washing’ for the Saudi government, or the doping fallout from Maximum Security’s 2020 success, controversy has never been far away from the event.