April 14, 2024

Mishriff heads and shoulders above in Juddmonte International

York Racecourse (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Mishriff dominated the Juddmonte International (G1) at York by six lengths on Wednesday, but trainer John Gosden ruled out any thought of the four-year-old competing in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Del Mar in November, for which he earned an automatic berth by winning the extended 1 1/4-mile race.

“He wouldn’t be one for the Breeders’ Cup Classic this year. It’s a very short straight at Del Mar and that wouldn’t suit him at all. He needs a Belmont straight, not a Del Mar one,” Gosden said.

The very long straight at York, though, suited Mishriff perfectly. Favored at 9-4 overseas and at 3-2 in the pari-mutuel pool, Mishriff rated fourth in the second flight as Mac Swiney cut out the pace. Advancing outside that rival and Alenquer with about a quarter-mile to go, Mishriff responded readily to jockey David Egan’s mild urgings and won handsomely.

Owned by Prince Abdul Rahman al Faisal, Mishriff finished up in strong time of 1:59.25 over ground listed as good. He paid $5 to win.

Alenquer, who tracked in second behind Mac Swiney much of the way, toughed it out in the final quarter-mile to maintain that position. Finishing a half-length behind in third was Love. The order of finish was rounded out by Mohaafeth, Mac Swiney, Alcohol Free, and Juan Elcano.

Mishriff, whose signature win last season was in the Prix du Jockey-Club (G1), or French Derby, kicked off 2021 with a one-length win in the $20 million Saudi Cup (G1) over nine furlongs on dirt. Following up with another victory, in the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) on turf, he entered the International off a third in the Eclipse (G1) and a second in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (G1) to the three-year-olds St Mark’s Basilica and Adayar, respectively.

“He blew up a furlong out in the Eclipse and then was second to a very good (Epsom) Derby (G1) winner trying to give him 11 pounds in the King George. I was thrilled with him today,” Gosden said.

“I want to freshen him up again as there’s a campaign for him deep into the autumn. There’s Champions Day and the Arc (G1) but I wouldn’t run him on very testing ground. Then the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) and the Japan Cup (G1), too.”