One of John & Thady Gosden's leading lights of the flat season has been Mishriff and although disappointing in the Champion Stakes at Ascot, he could still head to Del Mar for the Breeders Cup meeting.
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 in the Saudi Cup 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.
His international exploits didn't stop there and last time out he was seen landing the Group One Dubai Sheema Classic in the final strides at Meydan to cap off a superb few months in Asia.
The son of Make Believe was given a break and returned in the four runner Coral Eclipse and was outclassed by both St Mark's Basilica and Addeybb.
However, he seemed to need the run that day and it bought him on a fair bit next time out when chasing home Derby winner Adayar in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
Next time out he gave one of the performances of his career when bolting up in the Juddmonte International, seeing off Alenquer by six lengths eased down.
Having not been seen since then he looked the one to beat in the Champion Stakes but had to settle for a tame fourth, with no excuses coming to light for the below par run.
(Credit ATR) Ted Voute, racing manager for Mishriff’s owner Prince Faisal, said: “It was slightly disappointing. We beat the Derby winner, but we got swallowed up by horses who enjoyed the going a bit better than us.
“They had a bit of rain in the morning – and with both John and the jockey (David Egan), the first thing out of their mouths was that he wasn’t going on the ground. You have to bow to their experience.”
Mishriff looks like he will be seen one last time this year in America with the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Del Mar looking his main target, but the team are also eyeing a tilt at the Breeders’ Cup Classic, with the horse being comfortable on dirt.
He added: “John wants everything to be right for us to go, but that (Breeders’ Cup) is his next target.
“It was spoken about on Sunday, and the early indications were that he came out of the race okay. At the moment we’ve all been told to act as if we’re going, and the horse will let us know whether he’s ready.
“John and the Prince will decide where to go. I suspect they’ll go to the Turf – although just glancing through the Classic, I’d be happy to consider that race as well.
“It’s up the Prince and John really – and it’s down to Mishriff and his wellbeing.
“All the boxes have got to be ticked, and I’m sure John and the Prince will make the right decision.”