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DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Meydan’s commentator Craig Evans predicted a “crackerjack of a finish” as the runners turned for home in the US $5m Longines Dubai Sheema Classic and he certainly wasn’t wrong as Mishriff came from the widest starting point and from behind the entire field to see off the challenge of the Japanese pair of Chrono Genesis and Loves Only You in a vintage renewal of the Group 1 race.
Mishriff, confidently ridden by 21-year-old David Egan, was completing a unique double by adding the showpiece 2410m event to the Saudi Cup he claimed last month and showed an admirable versatility on the Meydan turf for trainer John Gosden and his son Thady.
Two necks separated the first three horses home as Mishriff showed great courage to oblige and Gosden added his name to the roll of honour for a third time following the 2010 victory of Dar Re Mi and the 2017 success of Jack Hobbs. The winning time was 2:26:65.
The Prince Faisal-owned Mishriff’s quest for more big race honours will now turn to Europe for the summer, where he will attempt to add to his win in last year’s Prix du Jockey Club, while for the Gosden family, it was a memorable double on the night following Lord North’s Dubai Turf win.
Mishriff’s jockey David Egan, a former champion apprentice in Britain, was unsurprisingly full of praise for his willing partner. Reflecting on the latest major win in his short career and looking to the future months Egan said: “This horse has brought me to the next level by winning the Saudi Cup and this is just the icing on the cake. After winning the mile and a half around here hopefully he will have an exciting summer campaign around Europe.
“He’s a champion. It was a strong battle inside the final two furlongs. I was just glad I was able to do my job and get him to settle and we know he’s got an immense turn of foot. He showed that in Riyadh. I thought he had to dig deep today in the final furlong. I thought he was going to curl up on me, but it just shows how good he is. Over 12 (furlongs), if he’s ridden with restraint and put in a rhythm, he could be deadly in Europe this year.”
Thady Gosden, who just this week joined his father John as a joint licence holder in Britain, said: “We thought before the race that if he was too ‘on it’ the whole way around, it wouldn’t be good to send him up there to get position and that would be for the worst. So David just dropped him in there, where he’s relaxed, and David just switched him off beautifully.
“He made his move when he had to around the bend and (David) gave him such a brilliant ride to get him to the line. He’s such a tough horse and he’s shown his versatility. He’s a brilliant horse and obviously really talented. Hats off to everyone at home. They do all the hard work and take care of these horses every day doing such a fantastic job.”
REST OF QUOTES
Yuichi Kitamura, jockey, CHRONO GENESIS (2nd) – “She had a moderate start, I focussed on keeping her rhythm and tried to take a spot where she liked. When they picked up at the third bend, she could keep up with them but her reaction was not quite quick enough, she could not show her signature closing speed in the stretch.”
Oisin Murphy, jockey, LOVES ONLY YOU (3rd) – “She had a good run. She relaxed and travelled in to the race. I thought we might win at the bottom of the straight. I was able to cut inside and save ground. She’s tried very hard and run a great race. The winner is a super horse.”
Yoshito Yahagi, trainer – “She ran out of her stamina for the last 100m. She ran her race and gave a good run. She needed more pace. She will go to Hong Kong for the Queen Elizabeth II Cup for the next run.”
William Buick, jockey, WALTON STREET (4th) – “My horse ran well. It was a very good race, the first three home are obviously all very good horses and I think he ran his race.”
Charlie Appleby, trainer – “To think that he would finish in fourth in the Sheema Classic at the start of the season, I would have taken that. Great race, obviously you’ve got pretty good horses in front of us. Mishriff, as we know, a Saudi Cup winner, and two good Japanese horses as well. So, he’s lost nothing there, finishing where he has and I’m sure we will see where we are and where he drops back up next year for another campaign.”
Frankie Dettori, jockey, DUBAI FUTURE (5th) – “He always tries really hard and had a couple of pounds to find on form, it was a strong Sheema Classic and 5th was the best we could have hoped for.”
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