Breeders’ Cup still option for Mishriff despite Ascot defeat

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A trip to the Breeders’ Cup remains on the table for Mishriff despite his defeat in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot.

John and Thady Gosden’s charge has enjoyed a memorable campaign, winning the Saudi Cup on dirt and the Sheema Classic on turf before securing his first Group One in Britain in the Juddmonte International.

He was a hot favourite to bag another major prize on Champions Day – but while he managed to finish in front of his King George conqueror Adayar on Saturday, he could manage only fourth behind French raider Sealiway.

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 appears most likely to run on the grass in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Del Mar next month, although Voute suggests a return to the dirt for the Breeders’ Cup Classic could also be worth considering.

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.”

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