Breeders’ Cup: Mishriff team tempted by international options after Juddmonte second

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Mishriff could end his illustrious career at the Breeders’ Cup with a trip to Keeneland, along with the Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes, among the options being mulled over by connections in their eagerness to avoid Baaeed in the latter part of the season.

John and Thady Gosden’s charge was an impressive six-length winner of the Juddmonte International in 2021, but had to settle for a silver medal this time around with an imperious display from William Haggas’ superstar on the Knavesmire stopping the globetrotting five-year-old from notching up a famous double in the York Group One.

Preparations are already being made for Mishriff’s future career as a stallion, but the team behind the son of Make Believe are keen to find the right opportunities for him to bow out on course, with Gosden senior keen to meet with owner Prince Faisal to run through all the possible options.

“We were delighted and he’s run his heart out, he just came up against a freak. Baaeed is a very good horse and we would be reluctant to take him on again, put it that way,” reflected Ted Voute, Prince Faisal’s racing manager, on Mishriff’s performance at York.

“It’s all down to John and the Prince,” he added on future engagements. “John did mention the Irish Champion, but I think like everybody else we would have to wait and see who ends up actually firming up to go and I’m pretty sure we would be reluctant to take on Baaeed again. So, if he wasn’t running, we would possibly take a better look at it.

“Other than that, I guess the two races under consideration would be at the Breeders’ Cup – the mile and a half on turf at Keeneland worth £4m (Breeders’ Cup Turf), or the Classic, the £6m race. I think we’ll take a look at both of those and it never does any harm to finish on that note, it can only give an uplift if he was to run well.

“The turf course at Keeneland is a seven-furlong oval and Del Mar is a mile, but the run-in is a lot longer at Keeneland and short at Del Mar which is why we didn’t go to the Breeders’ Cup last year, but John is keen to keep those options open.

“The Champion Stakes (at Ascot) is an option, and we have always run well there. But we’ve never won there which is obviously in the back of our minds and personally I would quite like to see what is in the Irish Champion and also what is in at Keeneland and try to finish there.

“Those are the three options, but ultimately it will be a decision made by John and the Prince and I know John is keen to sit down with the Prince and discuss the opportunities moving forward.

“I think between the two of them they will take a watching brief, see what is going to each of those races and choose one or maybe two accordingly. If he goes to the Irish Champion and runs well, then we could well kick on to America – if he’s fit and well, why not.”

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