Prince Faisal’s Mishriff overtakes classy competition to win $20M Saudi Cup.
Mishriff, owned by Prince Faisal, overtook several of the best American dirt male runners, commandeering the lead late to win Saturday’s $20 million Saudi Cup at King Abdulaziz Racetrack.
Trained by John Gosden, Mishriff broke from the barriers under jockey David Egan at stateside odds of 19/1 and settled into stalk from third. The 4/5 favorite Charlatan outkicked Knicks Go (3/2) for the early lead.
Setting up a speed duel between the two American colts, Knicks Go slid to the inside of Charlatan and challenged him through the far turn, but Charlatan began pulling away again at the top of the stretch. As he did, Mishriff began his rally to meet Charlatan’s neck midway home and a new duel was on.
With Charlatan weakening along the rail, Mishriff pulled ahead to win over fast dirt by one length in 1:49.59. Last year’s Prix du Jockey Club champion, Mishriff, proved that he can handle dirt or turf against the best competition.
Charlatan finished 6 1/2 lengths clear of longshot Great Scot in third, while Knicks Go was passed and settled for fourth ahead of Sleepy Eyes Todd; the latter two were last seen finishing first and fourth, respectively, in the Pegasus World Cup (G1).
Military Law, Tacitus, Bangkok, Chuwa Wizard, Derevo, Max Player, Global Giant, Extra Elusive, and Simsir completed the order of finish.
2021 Saudi Cup Replay
Mishriff had finished second a year earlier in the Saudi Derby before a campaign in Europe where he landed the French Derby and Prix Guillaume d’Ornano in classic style. He is yet another produce of Prince Faisal’s select but hugely successful breeding operation.
The 4-year-old is out of the Raven’s Pass mare Contradict, who is herself out of a daughter of the prince’s outstanding foundation mare Rafha in Acts Of Graces.
Acts Of Graces, a Group 3 and Listed winner for the late John Dunlop, is a half-sister to sire phenoms Invincible Spirit and Kodiac, as well as the stakes-winning Massarra, better known as the dam of Superlative Stakes scorer and Coolmore sire Gustav Klimt.
Mishriff’s dam, who has also produced Listed winner Orbaan and Craven Stakes runner-up Momkin – a son of Bated Breath who had finished sixth behind Space Blues earlier at Riyadh in the Turf Sprint – is currently in foal to Frankel.
In other saudi Cup news David Egan won the richest race in the world but has to cough up 10% of his winning riders share of the purse for violating the Saudi whip rules. Mike Smith gets days as apparently Charlatan interfered with Sleepy Eyes Todd down the backside. Last but not least, Joel Rosario took off Saudi Derby winner Pink Kamehamema to ride Cowan for Steve Asmussen. Cowan was open because of the Covid pandemic traveling woes and a late change in the rules. K. Tosaki rode the winner. Joel got second on Cowan.
Past The Wire Staff
Photo: Mishriff (Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia/Douglas DeFelice)