By Jon Lees
So you know Mishriff added to his Saudi Cup triumph with a thrilling victory in the $5m Sheema Classic, highlight of the Dubai World Cup undercard at Meydan. Here’s some other stuff you might like know as visitors swept the turf races at Meydan – plus tweets and videos.
What’s going on?
Sheema Classic: Mishriff is ‘the horse who will make my career’ – David Egan
It has been unorthodox but, boy, it’s been fabulously rewarding! Mishriff, winner of the world’s richest horse race on his last start in Saudi Arabia, switched surfaces to claim one of the sport’s richest turf races in Dubai.
In an exhilarating three-way battle for the $5m contest, the four-year-old son of Make Believe scored by two necks over Japanese females Chrono Genesis and Loves Only You.
Although he was owner Prince AA Faisal’s retained jockey, David Egan had not ridden Mishriff to either of last year’s Group wins but has seized both his chances in 2021. “This is the horse that is going to make my career, hopefully,” he said.
“He brought me to that next level winning the Saudi Cup and this is just icing on the cake. Hopefully after winning over that mile and a half round here, he can have an exciting campaign in Europe.”
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe betting (Ladbrokes): 7 Tarnawa, 8 Love, Mishriff, 16 Chrono Genesis, Contrail, 20 High Definition, Mogul, Raabihah, 25 In Swoop, Santa Barbara, Verry Elleegant, Wonderful Tonight, 33 bar.
Introducing Thaddeus ‘Thady’ Gosden, the new name on the licence
It was a fantastic few hours for the Gosdens as Lord North captured the Dubai Turf, 20 minutes after the stable also won the first first big race of Britain’s Flat Turf season when Haqeeqy captured the Lincoln at Doncaster, having only recorded the first winner of their partnership 24 hours earlier at Lingfield.
Adding to the haul was Global Giant, down the field when 12th of 14 in the Saudi Cup before bouncing back by landing a Listed prize at Kempton. The 25-year-old Thady was not credited on the Meydan racecard but the Dubai part of the project was executed under his supervision.
Dubai Turf: Royal Ascot repeat is Lord North’s target
Both Frankie Dettori and Thady Gosden identified a bid to repeat last year’s breakout success in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot as the main summer target for hugely impressive Lord North, who rediscovered his blistering best in a blistering three-length triumph.
“He’s a horse to go to war with in all the big races this year,” said Frankie Dettori. “Let’s try the Prince of Wales’s again – but I’m sure Mr Gosden will have a plan, and we’ll have lots of fun.”
Thady Gosden agreed. “We’ll get him home and see how he takes the race,” he said. “There’s a little bit of time to Royal Ascot still – so depending on what he tells us, he could have a run before or go straight to something like the Prince of Wales’s.”
Al Quoz Sprint: ‘I just put the saddle on’ – Brendan Walsh
The USA broke its maiden in a messy running of the Al Quoz Sprint when Ryan Moore steered the Brendan Walsh-trained Extravagant Kid to victory after the field split into groups either side of the course.
The eight-year-old, who has won 14 times at home, finished fourth from a bad draw in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint but had no graded-stakes victories on his record until getting up to take the G1 contest on the 50th start of his career.
Former Godolphin assistant Walsh has now won with both his runners at Meydan after Plus Que Parfait won the UAE Derby in 2019. “No credit must go to me,” he said. “I just put the saddle on. My lad here looked after him and he was very pleased with him.”
Dubai Gold Cup: Subjectivist ends Johnston’s 22-year wait
Stradivarius could have a serious rival to his bid for a fourth Ascot Gold Cup after Subjectivist slipped clear of the field to claim the G2 Dubai Gold Cup under 50-year-old Joe Fanning, lowering the two-mile track record in the process.
The Prix Royal Oak winner emphatically ended a Dubai World Cup winless run that stretched back 22 years for Britain’s record-breaking trainer, dismissing Germany’s Walderbe under Mickaelle Michel by 5¾ lengths to record the stable’s first success at the meeting since Fruits Of Love captured what is now the Sheema Classic at Nad Al Sheba in 1999.
“The Gold Cup is a long way off but I can’t really see anywhere else where this horse can go,” said Johnston. “He is a G1 horse and the Gold Cup and the Goodwood Cup are the obvious races for him. We might have to think about whether the £1m bonus is on this year and whether he has to take in other races but his campaign is virtually mapped out.”
Ascot Gold Cup betting (Ladbrokes): 9-4 Stradivarius, 6 Trueshan, 8 Santiago, Tiger Moth, 10 Subjectivist, 12 Fujaira Prince, 14 Search For A Song, Wonderful Tonight, 20 Princess Zoe, 25 bar.
Shall we talk about it?
Mark Johnston (Subjectivist’s trainer): “We’ve had Carnival winners but this is the first success on World Cup night for 22 years. But frankly, we hadn’t been bringing the right horses. We came here today thinking surely he was the one to beat. He was a Group 1 winner on his last outing, he didn’t have to improve – he just had to run up to his best. People doubted him on the ground but he’d just never run on anything this fast. When I walked the course I didn’t think I’d seen a turf track in the world in a better condition than this. All the ducks were in a row and there was no reason he shouldn’t run up to his best, which he has done.”
Joe Fanning (Subjectivist’s jockey): “He’s a good horse and there was a bit of juice in that ground, which suited him. He settled well and I was always going so easy before the turn in. He stays very well. I rode him out here yesterday and thought the ground was good. I think he’ll go on any surface. He’s a good horse and has loads of ability and I think he’s a better horse this year.”
Ryan Moore (Extravagant Kid’s jockey): “It was a very messy race. The speed looked like it was going to be stands’ side but we had to make a decision. Space Blues and Khaadem were going, they were the best horses and gave me a bit of toe. The horse ran a super race at Keeneland (in the Breeders’ Cup). He is a very talented horse. You’ll have to watch out for Brendan when he comes back here!”
Frankie Dettori (Lord North’s jockey): “It was a nice pace. I had plenty of horse and I know he stays really well. So I kicked early and he flew. I didn’t do much else after that, he did the rest. He was a handful in the early days, so he got gelded and he is much more focussed now. He is a horse for all the good races this year.”
Thady Gosden (Lord North’s joint-trainer): “We were always hoping he would run well as he was in brilliant form out here. But he definitely put that race to bed very well from pretty far back. We will take him home now and then maybe give him a break and target the race he won last year at Ascot.”
Mickael Barzalona, (Vin De Garde’s jockey): “I had no orders at all, he (trainer Hideaki Fujiwara) just asked me to ride my horse where he was happy and suitable. Actually I was very relaxed where I was. I just had to find a way to go, as the horse in front of me wasn’t very good. But I knew the danger would come from behind. My horse ran a very good race. I just got beaten by a horse that was better on the day, he was a Group 1 winner in Europe. This was my third year in a row I was riding the Japanese horse here, but I was beaten again.”
David Egan (Mishriff’s jockey): “This horse has brought me to the next level by winning the Saudi Cup and this is just the icing on the cake. After winning the mile and a half around here hopefully he will have an exciting summer campaign around Europe. He’s a champion. It was a strong battle inside the final two furlongs. I was just glad I was able to do my job and get him to settle and we know he’s got an immense turn of foot. He showed that in Riyadh. I thought he had to dig deep today in the final furlong. I thought he was going to curl up on me, but it just shows how good he is. Over 12, if he’s ridden with restraint and put in a rhythm, he could be deadly in Europe this year.”
Thady Gosden (Mishriff’s joint-trainer): “We thought before the race that if he was too ‘on it’ the whole way around, it wouldn’t be good to send him up there to get position and that would be for the worst. So David just dropped him in there, where he’s relaxed, and David just switched him off beautifully. He made his move when he had to around the bend and (David) gave him such a brilliant ride to get him to the line. He’s such a tough horse and he’s shown his versatility. He’s a brilliant horse and obviously really talented. Hats off to everyone at home. They do all the hard work and take care of these horses every day doing such a fantastic job.”
Yuichi Kitamura, Chrono Genesis’s jockey): “She had a moderate start, I focussed on keeping her rhythm and tried to take a spot where she liked. When they picked up at the third bend, she could keep up with them but her reaction was not quite quick enough, she could not show her signature closing speed in the stretch.”
Oisin Murphy (Loves Only You’s jockey): “She had a good run. She relaxed and travelled in to the race. I thought we might win at the bottom of the straight. I was able to cut inside and save ground. She’s tried very hard and run a great race. The winner is a super horse.”
Yoshito Yahagi (Loves Only You’s trainer): “She ran out of her stamina for the last 100m. She ran her race and gave a good run. She needed more pace. She will go to Hong Kong for the Queen Elizabeth II Cup for the next run.”
• Visit the Dubai Racing Club website