John Gosden can only stay out of the spotlight for some time and he bounced back into it on Saturday as his horse Mishriff landed the $20 million Saudi Cup and he is now aiming the superstar at a tilt at the Group One Juddmonte International.
The four year old exceeded expectations last term being unbeaten on all three of his starts to date, starting in the Listed Newmarket Stakes where he saw off his highly touted stablemate Waldkonig.
He then stepped up to the French Derby at Chantilly and he landed the event in fine style, pulling away from a talented field to take the first Group One of his career.
Gosden went with the approach that if its not broke, don't fix it and he sent him back to France for the Group Two Prix Guillaume daEUR and although only a small field took to post, he landed the spoils nicely.
Having swerved the Arc the colt was in flying form and headed for the Champion Stakes at Ascot for his final run of the season and unfortunately ran no sort of race and was outclassed on the day.
However, having been given a break and fine tuned for his run on Saturday he stayed on best of the rest in the final stages to see off American challenger Charlatan to land the second renewal of the race.
The Juddmonte International is now the main target for the four year old with his owner Prince Faisal having a personal relation for the race.
(Credit ATR) The owner’s racing manager Ted Voute said: “I think the Prince, for many reasons, has his eye on the Juddmonte.
“With winning the Juddmonte, you tend to be the highest-rated horse in the world – or thereabouts.
“I think he is keen to prove he is as good a horse as there is – and he was related to Prince Khalid.
“He’s got no interest in selling him at the moment. He wants to enjoy the racing. Ultimately he’ll go to stud.
“John Gosden and the Prince will talk about plans.”
Landing the worlds richest race has really put Mishriff on the map, having seen off some of the best US horses at that distance and now Gosden will be looking at races like The Dubai World Cup, the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and the Breeders’ Cup Classic as possible targets throughout the season.
“At this stage, I don’t think he’ll race until Royal Ascot if he goes there,” added Voute.
“The Dubai World Cup is only a few weeks away. He’s in it, he’ll be invited – and we’ve got to have that discussion.
“The Prince is keen to add a domestic Group One. He won in France (Prix du Jockey Club) – and if we are going to make him attractive as a stallion you need to add a domestic Group One to the CV. I would suggest the Juddmonte would be it.
“He is building a very interesting CV. There aren’t many horses who can win a French Derby and then a race on dirt over a furlong shorter.
“He did not go for the Arc last year, because the Prince wanted to see the horse run on his home turf as he hadn’t seen him for a year, and that has come out very successfully.
“What could be up for discussion is the Arc if the horse is sound and well. You could consider the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
“The Prince raced the sire (Make Believe), and Mishriff is the fourth generation, so it meant a lot to him.”