Maximum Security wins inaugural Saudi Cup
Maximum Security wins $20 million Saudi Cup in Riyadh. Image Credit: Twitter / Screengrab

Dubai: Dubai In a startling development, the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia (JCSA) announced on Monday that they will not be paying out prize money for the $20 million Saudi Cup, which was held in Riyadh on February 29, due to the doping scandal in America involving trainer Jason Servis, who saddled Maximum Security to victory in the race.

Maximum Security won by three-quarters of a length from the Bob Baffert-trained Midnight Bisou, with Dubai-owned Benbatl, trained by Saeed bin Surour for the powerful Godolphin stable, finishing a game third.

The winner was scheduled to receive $10 million with Midnight Bisou earning $3.5 million and Benbatl $2 million.

However, following Monday’s statement, which was released at approximately 7.10pm UAE time, it has come to light that the prize money has not been paid out.

“The JCSA is aware that Jason Servis has been indicted in the US on charges relating to the administration of prohibited substances to horses under his care and control," said the official statement from the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia

"The JCSA is conducting its own investigation into the allegations and until that is concluded, will withhold payment of prize-money to all connections of horses placed in prize-winning positions.

"The decision has been communicated privately to connections of Saudi Cup runners. Due to difficult operational circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the investigation is not yet concluded.”

The Saudi Cup, which became the richest race in the world, attracted many of the thoroughbred racing’s best dirt horses, with ten runners in the 14-strong field having won Black Type races.

It was the latest in a growing list of high-profile sporting events that included boxing, golf and motor sports, be staged in the country.

Meanhile, in a recent development, bail constraints were issued against Servis and fellow accused Jorge Navarro by the US District Court.

Each trainer posted $200,000 bonds and were also required to surrend all travel documents.

Servis and Navarro are among 27 individuals including trainers and vets who have reportedly been doping racehorses.

As the The New Jersey Racing Commission suspended Servis’ license to train in the state the owners of Maximum Security sacked the criminally charged handler and transfered their champion horse to the care of Hall of Fame handler, Bob Baffert.

The next hearing in the case is set for June 30.