By Jon Lees
GB: Mishriff is set to make his next appearance in the G1 Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on July 3 after being given a break following his Middle East heroics, when he won the world’s richest horse race and Dubai’s biggest prize on turf.
The Prince A A Faisal-owned colt proved himself the most versatile horse in training when he won the $20 million Saudi Cup in February on dirt and then the $5m Dubai Sheema Classic on turf on his first attempt at 1m4f.
John Gosden, now co-trainer with son Thady, has already cast doubt on Mishriff having another run on dirt this year in the Breeders’ Cup Classic but has now outlined his probable summer schedule, plus the targets of other stable stars.
“Mishriff did two canters this morning and he is full of it, squealing, playing, but I think he needs a holiday and we’ll go quietly,” said Gosden, speaking to Racing TV.
“We are targeting the Eclipse with him. I think that will be the right place to start him back and then maybe the Juddmonte International and then he will have an autumn target.
“So having been racing in February and March from a mile and furlong on dirt to a mile and a half on turf, he has managed to be so versatile to handle both that he deserves a proper holiday.
“I think he’ll enjoy Sandown. He’ll be entered in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes but it is more likely the Eclipse.”
Following the retirement of Enable, Mishriff is now the top-rated horse in a stable where triple Gold Cup winner Stradivarius and leading miler Palace Pier remain in training. Both horses could reappear later this month.
“I am looking towards the Sagaro at Ascot (April 28) for Stradivarius,” Gosden told ITV Racing. “He likes the track obviously and I would just like to start him there. It gives me the option of another run or then going straight into the Gold Cup.
“Palace Pier may run before that in the Sandown Mile (April 23) a week tomorrow. I think he probably needs to get back on the track rather than waiting for the Lockinge (May 15). He’s a bit full of himself and a race will help settle him down.”
Gosden said Indigo Girl, a 12-1 chance for the 1,000 Guineas, would need the ground to ease to run in the Newmarket Classic. “It will depend on rain,” he said.
“She loves to get her toe in. She ran well here in the Fillies’ Mile when it was soft, so she wouldn’t want it fast – so if that was the case we will switch her elsewhere. I think she is more of a mile-and-a-quarter filly and the Prix de Diane at Chantilly has always been her big target.”