By Jon Lees
GB: Mishriff needs to win a domestic G1 like the Coral-Eclipse Stakes if he is to cement his legacy as a superstar of the sport, his trainer John Gosden said on Thursday.
The winner of more than £10 million from victories overseas in the Prix du Jockey Club, Saudi Cup and Dubai Sheema Classic, Mishriff “got stuck in a bog” in last year’s Champion Stakes won by Addeybb, the only G1 he has contested at home.
He gets another chance when he is set to meet Addeybb again at Sandown on Saturday when both begin their European campaigns in a race which, despite drawing only four runners, nevertheless provides the clash of the generations by pitching the two older stars against the dual French Classic winner, the three-year-old St Mark’s Basilica.
“He’s done it in France, he’s done it in the Middle East,” said Gosden. “He needs to do it in the UK.”
Addeybb, who enjoyed another successful trip to Australia early this year where he landed his third G1 from four starts down under, is rated 3lb superior to Mishriff, but their Ascot clash was run in conditions that did not suit, according to Gosden..
“I don’t want to be critical, the ground was diabolical,” said Gosden. “Full marks to the winner. He handled it. Our fellow couldn’t go in it at all. It was bottomless, it’s no one’s fault, it was waterlogged ground.
He added: “I have tons of respect for Addeybb. I think he is a wonderful horse and he’s won a Champion Stakes, he’s won in Sydney.
“There is talk about some rain on Saturday afternoon and that’s something he would enjoy immensely. We are probably happier on anything from good to firm to good to soft.
“It is great that you have the best mile-and-a-quarter three-year-old colt in Europe running. He’s won a Dewhurst, a French Guineas and gone and won the Prix du Jockey Club, the same as Mishriff did, so that really is the ultimate test of the three-year-olds against the olders.
He continued: “Lester [Piggott] always felt the three-year-olds have the edge and I must say I’ve never been frightened of running a three-year-old in this race. It’s always demanding.
“We are very, very happy with him going in but I am perfectly aware of the task in hand.”
Coral-Eclipse betting (Coral): 6-4 Mishriff, 13-8 St Mark’s Basilica, 11-4 Addeybb, 28 El Drama.
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