Mishriff Training Well for Saudi Cup


Mishriff | Scoop Dyga

French Group 1 winner Mishriff (Ire) (Make Believe {GB}), who ran second in the 2020 Saudi Derby in Riyadh on Feb. 29, needs a wide draw in the Feb. 20 $20-million Saudi Cup according to trainer John Gosden. The colt rebounded with a win in the Listed Newmarket S. on June 6 and won the G1 Prix du Jockey Club on July 5. His final win of the year was a victory in the G2 Prix Guillaume de Ornano at Deauville on Aug. 15 before an eighth in the G1 QIPCO Champions S. at Ascot in mid-October. The 4-year-old carries the colours of Prince Faisal and will be ridden by his retained jockey David Egan.

“He worked nicely going into it, but first time on the dirt, you never know. He did have the benefit of a wide draw last year and we were thrilled the way he ran,” Gosden told a Saudi Cup press conference. “I think he's a mile-and-a-quarter horse, very much so. He's got a great stride, great tactical speed and a powerful finish. I think that is his perfect trip. Whether we stretch him out to a mile and a half one day, I don't know.”

“This race is run on the dirt and at a very different tempo. You need a wide draw,” he said. “If it was a mile and quarter it would suit us a lot better, but it's very fast. The Americans go hard and it's not a race with any hiding places. He's had a nice down time building up to this. He's a genuine horse, he enjoys his training. He's not a horse who requires a massive amount of work, so to that extent he's the right type to get ready early in the year.”

Frankie Dettori will be aboard Global Giant (GB) (Shamardal) for Gosden in the Middle Distance Turf Cup. They were second in the Bahrain International Trophy last November.

“He came back in great order and breezed nicely this [Wednesday] morning,” Gosden added. “The horse was as frustrated as the jockey and the owner and the trainer, but he got too far back and got there too late. The wire came up a stride and a half too soon, but that's racing. He's fine, he's going for the Middle Distance. It will be a tough race. Distance-wise it's probably the top end of his range. He's got a very good chance and he's in good form right now.”

Gosden will also take another crack at the Saudi Derby and will send G3 Round Tower S. hero New Treasure (Ire) (New Approach {Ire}). The newly gelded chestnut was acquired for 90,000gns by Voute Sales on behalf of Najd Stud out of the Tattersalls Autumn HIT Sale after being sold by breeder/owner/trainer Jim Bolger.

“He was in the horses-in-training sale and Jim was selling, so you have to have a sense of reality about that. He didn't go for a great deal of money,” said Gosden. “The horse came here and the owners wanted to aim him at this race. “He won a Group 3 over six furlongs on soft ground. He's not run over a mile before, but we're hopeful he'll get it. He's on a one-way ticket. He races and stays there to race with the local horses. He's very genuine and is a giver. He's a fun horse to run in the race and it a great way of going down there–a Group 3 winner and going for the Saudi Derby.”

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