John Gosden and Gareth Southgate will hope lightning strikes twice as MISHRIFF (Sandown, 3.35) bids for Coral-Eclipse glory.
Three years ago on this day, both Gosden and a Southgate-led England enjoyed notable success as Roaring Lion gave the Newmarket trainer victory in this afternoon’s Group One feature while England were winning their World Cup quarter-final at the expense of Sweden thanks to goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli.
Ukraine, conquerors of Sweden in the last 16, stand in the way of England and another semi-final berth on Saturday night, and Mishriff must dismiss the pre-eminent European colt at 10 furlongs in St Mark’s Basilica, fellow globetrotter Addeybb and Dee Stakes winner El Drama to continue his surge up the world rankings.
With the best part of £10million in prize money already pocketed this year, connections of Mishriff could be forgiven for regarding Saturday’s midsummer feature as an after-thought. Hopefully, that is not the case as the vast Middle Eastern riches, welcome as they may be, do not carry the undoubted prestige of the Eclipse and its illustrious rollcall of champions.
Gosden (right) has enjoyed notable success in the past decade with the likes of Nathaniel, Golden Horn and Enable emulating the achievements of Roaring Lion three years ago.
In Mishriff he appears to have another excellent candidate, even if the son of Make Believe has yet to fully showcase his abilities to a British audience.
Home racegoers were treated to a glimpse of the selection’s natural talent at Newmarket just over a year ago when he powered to a Listed race success in a spectacular time, but subsequent victories in France, including in the French Derby, meant he was not seen again in England until the Champion Stakes in the autumn when he disappointed on deep ground, much like a number of his stablemates that day.
Two trips to Riyadh and Meydan in February and March saw Mishriff dismiss some of the best thoroughbreds America and Japan have on offer while producing performances which saw him move into joint-third behind stablemate and leader Palace Pier in the Longines World Rankings.
Hopefully for Gosden, his charge can stamp his class on Saturday’s prize and begin to dominate Europe too, a dream Southgate will also share.