By Nicholas Godfrey
So you know global superstar Mishriff produced a monster performance to win the £1 million Juddmonte International at York on the first day of the four-day Ebor meeting. Here are the details, plus some other stuff you might be interested in – quotes, video and tweets.
What’s going on?
York (August 18): Juddmonte International Stakes G1 £1m, 1m2½f, turf, 4yo+
1 Mishriff 9-4f
Travelled sweetly and smooth headway to lead 3f out; readily stretched clear in totally dominant performance
2 Alenquer 8-1
Ridden close to front-running Mac Swiney; stayed on in determined fashion to keep second; lacked toe of winner at this trip but lovely effort nonetheless
3 Love 11-4
Close enough after awkward start but couldn’t match winner’s change of pace; clearly no disgrace but struggling to live up to last year’s exploits
7 ran. Margins: 6l, ½l, ¾l
Time: 1m59.25s (good)
About the winner
Pedigree: 4 bc Make Believe – Contradict (Raven’s Pass)
Trainer: John & Thady Gosden
Jockey: David Egan
Owner: Prince AA Faisal
Breeder: Nawara Stud Limited
Background: With more than £11 million in the prize-money bank, few horses have ever compiled such a lustrous global CV as Mishriff; a Classic winner in France in last year’s Prix du Jockey Club, he landed the world’s richest race on dirt at the beginning of 2021 with the $20m Saudi Cup before reverting to turf to win the $6m Dubai Sheema Classic; after a break, solid placed efforts in both the Eclipse and King George presaged this latest G1 win.
John Gosden: “At a mile and a quarter he’s a brilliant horse – I think we’ve seen the finished article.”
David Egan: “Mishriff’s proved he can do it overseas and he can do it at home. It’s stuff I’ve dreamt about my whole life.”
On the record
David Egan, Britain’s champion apprentice in 2017, was recording the first domestic G1 victory of his career. Officially, his sole previous top-level success came via Mishriff’s Dubai Sheema Classic win as the Saudi Cup is not yet accorded G1 status.
Four-time champion trainer John Gosden, now operating in tandem with his son Thady, was winning his second Juddmonte International after Roaring Lion (2018). Mishriff was the training partnership’s third G1 win in Britain this year after Palace Pier’s victories in the Lockinge and Queen Anne.
What’s next? Targets and betting
Arc/Champion Stakes/Breeders’ Cup Turf
John Gosden suggested Mishriff would now have a short break before an international autumn campaign.
Speaking to interviewer Lydia Hislop on RacingTV, he said: “If I’m going to go deep into the autumn, I’ve got to take a pull with him, freshen him again through September, then you could look at either the Arc or the Champion Stakes and then you have races like the Breeders’ Cup and the Japan Cup. He’s having to run in sort of segments with holidays in between.”
Mishriff is Champion Stakes favourite
Mishriff is the 7-4 (from 6-1) favourite with Coral for the Qipco Champion Stakes; Ladbrokes go 2-1 (from 6), with Paddy Power on 5-2 (from 5). The globetrotting superstar is also 8-1 with Coral for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe; Power go 12s (from 20).
Arc betting (Coral): 7-2 Snowfall, 4 Adayar, 6 Hurricane Lane, Tarnawa, 8 Mishriff, Wonderful Tonight, 10 St Mark’s Basilica, 16 Chrono Genesis, Love, 20 Efforia, 25 bar
Champion Stakes (Ladbrokes): 2 Champion Stakes, 7-2 St Mark’s Basilica, 5 Adayar, 6 Palace Pier, Snowfall, 8 Addeybb, Skalleti, 10 bar.
Breeders’ Cup option
Although the Juddmonte International is a ‘Win and You’re In’ race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic on dirt, Gosden mentioned going 1m4f on turf at Del Mar on November 6.
Mishriff is 3-1 for the Breeders’ Cup Turf with both Coral and Ladbrokes. Ladbrokes and Power go 7-1 for the Classic.
Any other business
‘He’s a super horse’ – John Gosden
Trainer was left singing Mishriff’s praises, saying he is in the mix as the best he’s ever trained.
“I think he’s right up there,” he said, speaking on RacingTV. “To win over a mile and a furlong on the dirt and beat the Americans and then come here and do this, he’s a super horse.
“He won a Sheema Classic against a Japanese champion mare, he’s phenomenal. He’s versatile, but this is probably his best distance and arguably perfect ground on the Knavesmire, probably right up his street.”
‘The money doesn’t matter’ – David Egan
Former champion apprentice was understandably delighted after landing his first domestic G1 success. “This is my best day at the racetrack,” he said. “The money doesn’t matter – it’s all about the horse. Hopefully, there’s more to come.
“To do what he has done is phenomenal – he’s a horse to be reckoned with now. This horse means everything to me. He’s going to make my career, hopefully.”
Alenquer to go up in trip
William Haggas: “I suspect we’ll go back up to a mile and a half, but we’ll talk to the owner and see where we go. I don’t know, but I suspect the Arc will be well in the mix.”
Mohaafeth back to a mile
“To me, it looked like he didn’t get home,” said William Haggas about the horse who came fourth. “It looked like he was going to be second and was weak in the last furlong, so I definitely think we ought to explore dropping him back to a mile. We’ll see.”
St Mark’s Basilica misses out
Ante-post favourite St Mark’s Basilica was ruled out of the race after suffering a freak injury on the gallops. While the dual French Classic winner was working towards the York feature, a front shoe flew off and caught his off-hind leg, leaving a cut which became infected.
Love deputised for Aidan O’Brien and finished third under Ryan Moore.
Shall we talk about it?
John Gosden (Mishriff’s trainer): “At a mile and a quarter he’s a brilliant horse. He’s done nothing wrong and has now come to his very best. I think we’ve seen the finished article. He went as a three-year-old to run in the Saudi Derby and then the Saudi Cup at four, so this year was always going to be a winter campaign then back for the summer. This is the race we’ve talked about since last summer before making him a stallion for Europe.
“This is his ground, good ground, and I think a mile and a quarter is perfect for him. He’s had this strange year where he raced in a truncated season last year, then he raced in the winter and we gave him a holiday, now he’s run in the middle of summer.”
David Egan (Mishriff’s jockey): “I’m just so thrilled for the horse to be able to do it on UK soil. He’s proved he can do it elsewhere. Some people had doubts he could do it here, but it’s fantastic to get it done for Prince Faisal in a race like the Juddmonte International. It feels like I’ve won the lottery.
“I had it in the back of my mind how well he stays a mile and a quarter on a flat track. Getting him in a nice rhythm and relaxed was the key today. I was going so comfortably three out. I had it in my mind I didn’t want to quicken too far out, but he was going so easy he took me to the front. He’s a true champion and he’s only getting better this season.”
William Haggas (Alenquer’s trainer): “Alenquer ran a very good race. He stayed on and wants further, but you can’t criticise a run like that in a Group 1 race. He’s a very nice, straightforward three-year-old who should develop into a very nice, straightforward four-year-old I hope.
“I suspect we’ll go back up to a mile and a half, but we’ll talk to the owner and see where we go. I don’t know, but I suspect the Arc will be well in the mix.”
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