Mishriff was simply dominating, world class
Mishriff produced an impressive display to dispense of the opposition in Wednesday Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes at York, England.
The Irish-bred colt gave another major win to the training partnership of John and Thady Gosden, as the father and son combination had also claimed last Sunday’s Group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville, France, with Palace Pier.
At York this afternoon, a small but select field of seven runners went to post for the 1 mile 2 and a half furlong race, worth $983,700 in purses.
The ante-post betting market for the contest changed dramatically last weekend when Aidan O’Brien announced that his multiple Group 1 winner, and hot favourite for the race, St Mark’s Basilica, would not take his place in the starting line-up following a minor training setback.
The four-year-old filly Love, winner of the Group 1 QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Group 1 Investec Oaks at Epsom last year, was then nominated as the Ballydoyle-Coolmore representative in the race.
The well-travelled Mishriff, a four-year-old son of Make Believe, and a winner of the Saudi Cup and the Grade 1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan, began the contest as favourite, just ahead of Love in the betting market.
Veteran Irish jockey Kevin Manning, aboard the Jim Bolger bred, owned and trained Mac Swiney, winner of the Vertem Futurity Stakes (Group 1) at Doncaster, England, last season, and victorious in the Group 1 Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas at The Curragh in May, cut out the running.
The French-bred Alenquer, trained in England by William Haggas, was prominent on his outside, with the Ryan Moore-ridden Love close by in third position.
On the turn for home, Mishriff and Irish jockey David Egan looked comfortable on the wide outside of the field, as the others battled for the race lead.
Mac Swiney, Alenquer, under Tom Marquand, along with Love, briefly threatened as Mohaafeth, Alcohol Free and Juan Elcano all made what was ultimately a failed effort.
Egan moved the eventual winner Mishriff comfortably into the lead and from then on was never troubled as the combination ran out very easy six-length winners.
The three-year-old Alenquer held off Love by three-quarters of a length for the runner-up spot, with Mohaafeth out-battling the early race leader Mac Swiney for fourth place. Alcohol Free and Juan Elcano brought up the final two places in the small field.
Winning jockey David Egan spoke to ITV Sport about the importance of the win for him:
“I’m just so lucky to be put in a position to ride for Prince Faisal and to ride a horse like Mishriff for Mr Gosden in the Juddmonte International – it’s the stuff I’ve dreamed about my whole life. The Saudi Cup and the Sheema Classic were fantastic but to win a Group 1 in the UK, especially the Juddmonte International, is very very special.”
Mishriff, owned by Prince A A Faisal, took his career winnings to in excess of $15.527 million in his 13-race career.
The winning conditioner John Gosden, also speaking to ITV Racing, said of Mishriff:
“At a mile and a quarter he’s a brilliant horse. He’s a fabulous horse – he’s trained well. He’s done nothing wrong. He’s come to his very best. He’s done nothing but improve these last three races. This is a race we’ve talked about since last December. This has been THE race all the way that we wanted to win with him.”
Asked about future plans immediately post race, the Englishman stated:
“I would be inclined to look at a combination of either the Arc (Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp) or Champions Day (at Ascot, England) and I wouldn’t be ruling out the Breeders’ Cup for a mile and a half either, but let’s see how he is.”
Mishriff came out just in top in an incredible finish to the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic(Credit – DRC & Mathea Kelley)