WATCH: John Hunt Relives Emblem Road Win On "Extraordinary" Saudi Cup Night
07 February 2023
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7 February 2023 – Ahead of this year’s meeting, race commentator John Hunt has relived his experience of calling the 2022 Group 1 Saudi Cup.
Emblem Road produced a moment that would shake the racing world by becoming the first Saudi-trained winner of the world’s most valuable race, with Hunt calling him home in spine-tingling style: “Emblem Road to the front…a huge shock, but they love it here in Saudi Arabia!”
Watching last year’s race back, Hunt points out what he was most aware of when the gates opened and the 14 runners left the stalls with 1800m between them and Saudi Cup glory.
“Emblem Road was slowly away [from the starting stalls] you just forget that – he was last early on,” Hunt said.
With the field racing round the home turn, Hunt points out the threat of the strong travelling American horses.
“Look at the massed ranks of the Americans all in behind, including Midnight Bourbon, who I thought was going to slug it out and really be a big threat.
“And there on the outside the two Saudi horses, Making Miracles, who I’d known from his time in Great Britain – winning the Chester Cup in the mud – and Emblem Road on the outside.”
The finish looked set to be fought out by American duo Midnight Bourbon and Country Grammer, but there was a surprise in store for the crowds watching in the stands at King Abdulaziz Racecourse and the countless others viewing from around the world.
Hunt said: “Down to the business end it looked as though it was going to be Country Grammer or Midnight Bourbon – two of the highest profile horses in the world – and then this little fella on the outside, Emblem Road, kicks in and the noise at this stage was absolutely extraordinary. He wins by a neck, half-a-length and cue bedlam.”
“What was amazing was the noise didn’t let up, there was no lull thereafter. The celebrations seemingly kept on for hours and hours. Great, great memories.”
This year’s Saudi Cup meeting will take place at King Abdulaziz Racecourse from 24 - 25 February 2023.
Watch the full interview at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Snw1P7VzSIw