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Mike Smith wins first STC International Jockeys Challenge ahead of Saudi Cup

Published: Updated:

American jockey Mike Smith won the inaugural STC International Jockeys Challenge at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh ahead of the Saudi Cup – the world’s richest horse race.

Smith, a US Hall of Fame jockey, won twice on Friday from four rounds of the competition during a historic day as Lisa Allpress became the first female jockey to win a horserace in Saudi Arabia.

“At my age, I’m stoked to win this jockeys challenge,” said Smith in a press release statement after his win.

“I’m so happy and very blessed. I was hoping to do well in the challenge and then we have the Saudi Cup tomorrow and I’m really, really looking forward to tomorrow. I think my filly tomorrow in the Saudi Cup, Midnight Bisou is going to love this track, she acts like she will,” he added.

READ MORE: Female jockeys ‘most welcome’ to participate in 2020 Saudi Cup: Prince Bandar

The winner of the Saudi Cup’s feature race on Saturday will receive $10 million prize money, with a further $10 million distributed among the top 10 finishers.

The race is run over nine furlongs (1,800 meters) on dirt, with a maximum of 14 runners at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh.