James Doyle is relishing the prospect of partnering Mishriff in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes after getting to know his big-race mount during an early-morning workout in Newmarket.
With owner Prince Faisal announcing last week that David Egan was no longer his retained rider, the plum ride aboard John and Thady Gosden’s globetrotting star was up for grabs.
Frankie Dettori steered Mishriff to win a Group Two in France two seasons ago, but will be on board his stablemate Emily Upjohn on Saturday, paving the way for Doyle to get the call.
Doyle got acquainted with the five-year-old for the first time on Wednesday and could not have been happier with how the gallop went.
“It was an early start, but he felt fantastic,” Doyle told Sky Sports Racing.
“I jumped on him at 5.10am and he did a nice blow up the Al Bahathri, a gallop he knows well, and he felt in good order. There was no questions asked, but I have to say he felt super and moved great.
“It’s very exciting – what a race. It’s a small but select field, but there’s not one runner in the race that doesn’t deserve to be there.”
Mishriff was last seen lunging late to finish a neck second to Vadeni in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown three weeks ago, a race in which Doyle finished fourth with Lord North.
Assessing Mishriff’s performance, Doyle added: “I think he did a great job to surge at them late. Inside the last 50 yards he really did power home when he got into some clean space.
“It was unfortunate position to find himself in. Three back on the rail at Sandown is a very difficult situation to be in and you need lots of luck to go your way.
“I felt very sorry for David Egan the way things unfolded as the gaps just didn’t open up, but that’s Sandown, especially in those very competitive races like the Eclipse.
“I think he showed he’s right at the top of his game and I think it was mentioned before the Eclipse that he’d be better for the run. The prospect of him being more tuned up for the King George is quite exciting and the mile and a half doesn’t seem to be a problem.
“He’s a horse that really wears his heart on his sleeve late on a race. He has that superb way of galloping where he really does get his head low. I wish every horse tried as hard as he does.”
Doyle admitted he has sympathy for Mishriff’s deposed rider Egan and plans to catch up with him ahead of the King George this weekend.
He said: “I haven’t had chance to speak to David yet, but I will do.
“Obviously I feel terribly sorry for David, it’s never nice, but I heard him say he’s not the first person to be jocked off a horse and he won’t be the last. I think that’s the right way to look at it, these things happen and how you deal with these events kind of defines you as a person.
“He’s dealt with it like a grown up man and we mustn’t forget he’s still a young man in this sport, so he’s still learning his trade and full credit to the way he’s coped with everything.”