Mishriff shines in Dubai Sheema Classic thriller as Gosden completes double - GulfToday

Mishriff shines in Dubai Sheema Classic thriller as Gosden completes double


Jockey David Egan reacts after winning the $5 million Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic on Saturday. Associated Press

Meydan’s commentator Craig Evans predicted a “crackerjack of a finish” as the runners turned for home in the $5m Longines Dubai Sheema Classic and he certainly wasn’t wrong as Mishriff (IRE) 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.

Lord North produced an irresistible surge down the outside to deliver a famous victory for Frankie Dettori in the Dubai Turf.

Lord North, an impressive winner of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot in the summer, struck from well off the pace but was dominant in the final furlong of the Meydan straight.

As expected, First Contact had gone to the lead in this 1800m race, while Frankie Dettori had positioned his son of Dubawi one off the rail towards the back of the field.

Coming out of the final bend, he kicked on and Lord North responded immediately, absolutely flying home all the way to the line to beat Japanese raider Vin De Garde, who produced a very good performance himself, by three lengths, while the Marco Botti-trained Felix finished an excellent third.

Mishriff’s jockey 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.”

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