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Monday Musings: Saudi Success for Mishriff

In the latter half of last week’s missive I took you back to June 1989, writes Tony Stafford. Today I’m going another year, all but two days, and the eve of day one of Royal Ascot. The feature and only Group 1 event of the day, and in those days carrying more than double the prizemoney of the Group 2 Queen Anne and Prince of Wales’s Stakes on that afternoon, was the St James’s Palace Stakes.

I’d gone on the Monday evening down to Holland Park Road in leafy West London with trainer Geoff Huffer and I remember there was much discussion about whether Persian Heights, whom Geoff trained for Prince Yazid Saud (son of King Saud, the Ruler of Saudi Arabia in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s) should take his place in the field.

Until checking back I’d forgotten the reason for what was in effect a summit meeting as it entailed something of a gamble. Persian Heights had made his seasonal reappearance as recently as the previous Wednesday at Newbury, when he won a conditions race by an easy four lengths.

Obviously it was going to be a risk and I’m not quite sure why I was there, but there I was. Also in the house that evening was Tony Nerses, nowadays the brains behind Kuwaiti Imad Al Sagar’s bloodstock interests, but in those days the secretary for Prince Yazid.

Mr Sagar, with his then partner Saleh Al Homaizi, also a Kuwaiti, won the 2007 Derby with Authorized, trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam; and that victory has provided Tony with a great advertising vehicle. Whenever his boss has a non-home-bred winner, it’s always accompanied with “purchase Authorized by Tony Nerses”.

At some time later that evening, mid-discussion, Geoff and I crossed the road to another of the grand houses in that select enclave – God knows what they would be worth now!  I did look, you wouldn’t want to know!

There we met one of Prince Yazid’s fellow Saudi Arabian Royal family members, Prince Abdul Rahman Abdullah Faisal, and blow me down when on Saturday night his horse Mishriff, trained by John Gosden and ridden by 21-year-old David Egan, exceeded all previous expectations by winning the world’s most valuable race, the Saudi Cup, from the American-trained second favourite Charlatan, in turn ridden by one of the world’s most celebrated and successful jockeys, Mike Smith.

I’m delighted for the Prince who goes sometimes as Prince A A Faisal but more often as plain – well not so plain, just look at the Garrards of London-made all-gold trophy that’s almost as tall as its recipient – Prince Faisal. At home he needs the initials, there’s a bit of competition for that first name among the family.

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They were all friends and indeed relatives with the late Prince Ahmed bin Salman (late son of the present King Salman) of Thoroughbred Corporation fame. He won the 1999 Derby with Oath, four Triple Crown races in two successive years without managing to get all three together as well as umpteen other major races around the world.

Even before 1988, when they were very young men, Yazid and Ahmed were partners together in several good horses, often high-class sprinters trained by Bill O’Gorman running precisely in those two first names.

Well to cut a circuitous route slightly shorter, the decision was made. Persian Heights ran and won comfortably and, while never really graduating any further in his own career, he did leave an indelible mark on the thoroughbred breeding world by being the sire of the great stayer Persian Punch.

Winner of 20 of his 63 career starts for trainer David Elsworth and owner Jeff Smith, only four times did he step below stakes class and he won on all those four occasions. Sixteen stakes wins is right up there and I know from experience that Mr Elsworth never likes to worry about winning a small race when a tilt at a much bigger target is in his sights.

I bought Prince Yazid a few horses after my own first trip to Saudi Arabia in the late 1990’s to race in France where he was based at that time and I later lost touch. I know on returning home, he was in charge of arrangements for the Hajj where Muslim  pilgrims travel to the Holy City of Mecca, a journey they are required to make at least once in their lives.

Prince Faisal meanwhile was breeding some top-class horses to run in his purple, grey epaulettes colours from his prolific broodmare Rafha, winner of the 1990 Prix de Diane for Henry Cecil. The best was easily Invincible Spirit, a sprint-bred son of Green Desert who won seven of 17 starts for John Dunlop but turned into a phenomenal stallion for the Irish National Stud.

Initially standing at a cost of €10k, as his accomplishments increased so did his fee and, at its height from 2016-9, he commanded an investment of €120,000. Down to €100k last year it has taken another little trim to €80k, but his shareholders who took the initial risk won’t be complaining. After all that’s not bad for a 24-year-old!

Kodiac, his half-brother by top Classic sire Danehill, didn’t measure up as a racehorse. I met the Prince at Newmarket on a July Saturday in 2003 and we had a cup of tea together before his colt’s juvenile debut. He was optimistic before the race and was happy afterwards about his third place finish.

Four wins came from his 24 career starts, none in stakes, but Tony O’Callaghan, the shrewd boss of Tally Ho Stud, bought him and quickly turned him into the world’s most consistent and prolific sire of two-year-olds. His fee, originally €5,000, has been at a high of €65,000 for the last three breeding seasons and the now 20-year-old shows no sign of slowing down as neither does Tony.

It was remarkable that the Prince was so astute to secure the services of the then 20-year-old David Egan as early as he did in his career. Egan travelled to Riyadh for the meeting last year when Mishriff, on his three-year-old debut, finished second in the inaugural Saudi Derby.

Mishriff then returned to Europe and won a Listed race at Newmarket under Egan, but wins in the French Derby and a Group 2 at Deauville were unavailable to the jockey with the Covid travel ban in place. Ioritz Mendizabal and then Frankie Dettori were the happy recipients of Egan’s misfortune. He ran his only disappointing race, again with Dettori in the saddle, when unplaced behind Addeybb at the Champions meeting at Ascot in October on what Gosden has described as the worst ground at any UK meeting he can recall.

Saturday’s victory, on his first run since – this time Dettori was on an unplaced stable-companion – carried the astronomic winner’s prize of £7.29 million, so a nice windfall in percentage terms for Mr Gosden – whose handling of this home-bred colt has been masterful – and Egan. His opportunistic and unflustered riding has to be taken in the context of the opposition and importance of the day. How proud his father John, in the crowd and still a potent jockey in his 50’s, must have been.

Mr Sagar was in Riyadh for the weekend as was Hollie Doyle principally to ride his gelding Extra Elusive – who seemed not to enjoy the dirt surface – in the big race. To show in just how high regard she is held, she got the ride on the Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old mare True Self in a ten and a half furlong turf race and they won comfortably. Hollie’s share of the £439k first prize will keep partner Tom Marquand happy down in Sydney while he waits out his quarantine.

While the top two were from the upper end of racing’s hierarchy – the runner-up was a $700,000 dollar buy and ran for Bob Baffert - the third horse home has a much more proletarian heritage.

The five-year-old Great Scot was originally prepared for sale by Rachael and Richard Kempster of Kinsale Farm near Oswestry, Shropshire, and was led out unsold as a yearling for 2,500gns at the mixed Ascot sale. The Kempsters also got a less than brilliant result at the same venue when offering some disappointing Raymond Tooth horses also raised on their farm.

Unlike them Great Scot went on to race for a syndicate of owners – the Empire States Partnership and was originally trained by Tom Dascombe. Seeing the names involved at the time of that yearling sale, I suspect some footballers possibly associated with Michael Owen, who owns Dascombe’s stables, might have been involved.

He won four of 11 races, getting up to a rating of 111, so I expect they got a nice windfall when passing him on. Next time he appeared it was in last year’s Saudi Cup where he finished only 12th of 14 at 100/1 running off the boat as it were.

The latter part of last year was much more fruitful  with wins by 12 lengths and then three lengths before a four-length success in a £78k Listed race last month.

Intriguingly – I hinted there was a Prince Faisal or two – Great Scot is owned by Prince Faisal Bin Khalid (so son of a previous King) and trained by Abdullah Mushrif. Confused? You will be. When the Empire State Partnership people realise that yesterday’s run, still at 66-1 despite the three spectacular wins, earned this Prince £1,459,000 they will no doubt take a moment from watching the football on telly. As for the Kempsters, who run a very nice efficient farm where Punjabi has spent his retirement, they can congratulate themselves for their part in the story.

On the domestic front, Saturday also featured the reincarnation of Goshen, incidentally a son of Authorized, in Wincanton’s Kingwell Hurdle. Beaten three times since his last-flight fall in the 2020 Triumph Hurdle and in those defeats, showing little sign that he was still a smart performer, he slaughtered his field by 22 lengths, surely ending Song For Someone’s Champion Hurdle hopes.

More interestingly, as the ground dries out will the connections of Honeysuckle, so impressive last weekend at Leopardstown, start to think that maybe the mares’ race over an extra half mile will provide less of a gamble. Faster ground and two miles suits Goshen and almost certainly Epatante. Decisions, decisions!

Mishriff upsets Charlatan to land Saudi Cup glory for Gosden and Egan

Mishriff powered home to wear down American ace Charlatan and land the world’s most valuable race, the $20million Saudi Cup in Riyadh.

The John Gosden-trained colt, owned by Prince Faisal, made his stamina tell over the nine furlongs after the two US heavyweights, Charlatan and Knicks Go, had gone head to head in the early stages.

David Egan was able to stay on their heels as the star pair turned for home.

Knicks Go dropped away, leaving Mishriff to gradually reduce Charlatan’s lead and get up in the closing stages. Great Scot finished third.

Gosden said from his Newmarket base: “It was a wonderful performance. He showed a lot of grit and courage, and he was able to go the pace of the American horses. It was great.”

Now proven on dirt as well as turf, having won the French Derby last year, Mishriff would appear to have all the world’s biggest races open to him.

But Gosden was keen not to be drawn on future plans, adding: “One race at a time.”

The champion trainer was also quick to pay tribute to his team behind the horse and his preparation.

He said: “What a brave horse, thank you to Prince Faisal and the whole team. It’s down to them and a brave horse, in what was a truly-run race and certainly he had to have a lot of courage never mind ability.

“His owner-breeder Prince Faisal always wanted to come back for the Saudi Cup (after finishing second in the Saudi Derby last year) and the horse had a perfect year bar getting stuck in a bottomless bog at Ascot (in the Champion Stakes), which was really specialist ground. Otherwise he has a superb record.

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David Egan tries to take in Saudi Cup success
David Egan tries to take in Saudi Cup success (Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia/Mahmoud Khaled)

“The team here at Clarehaven have done a great job with him – it’s not easy to get a horse ready in the winter, with the snow and the ice.

“Any time you take on Bob Baffert with a horse of that class (Charlatan) you are pleased if you can get there, so full marks to my team.”

Reflecting on the race, Gosden said: “You do need to break well and get a decent position, David rode a positive race and in the end basically outstayed the American horses. It wasn’t a crazy pace, I was impressed the two American jockeys were containing their horses. You have a world-record miler there (Charlatan) and Brad Cox’s horse (Knicks Go) and they kept the rhythm right.

“There are very few horses who can switch surfaces like that, but I’ve always been told by the top American jockeys and Frankie Dettori that this is the best main dirt track in the world. I think that’s very much proven today – that a turf horse can actually switch to it and put in a big performance. This is a superb track.

“I think he will stay (further), in the end he nailed them because he could go the pace and then just see it out to the end – and that’s a hard-run mile and a furlong.

“I’ll see, we’ll all make decisions together as to how he is and what plans, and discuss it all with Prince Faisal. Take it a step at a time. After a flight like that and training in the winter, we’ll how the horse is for the next 10 days, two weeks when we get back before we start making any grand plans.”

Circumstances meant Egan missed out on Mishriff’s last three races last year, including his victory in the French Derby, where Dettori was in the saddle. However, as Prince Faisal’s retained rider he was back in the plate.

Egan, 21, said: “I can’t believe it. He’s an absolute champion. It’s unbelievable.

“It wasn’t meant to be (not being able to ride in French Derby). That’s racing. It was during the coronavirus pandemic as we all are now.

“I’d like to thank Saudi Cup for putting on such a great event in these tough times and making everything as Covid safe as we could be.

“I’m just delighted to get back on board Mishriff and win it for all the team.”

It’s only when you go past the line you realise what a big deal it is

He went on: “Last year he was a horse that jumped slow. He chased down the Japanese horse in the Saudi Derby and finished second. I always thought if he jumped on terms I would have nearly won last year.

“He has matured through the year and Mr Gosden had him primed for today. He’s been training well on the track. He seems to enjoy the track here. He’s very relaxed in the mornings.

“He jumped as well as he’s ever done. I squeezed him along for the first 50 yards and I was surprised how well he was going down the back straight. I was on Mike Smith’s (riding Charlatan) heels.

“The only worrying sign I got was when they started quickening, but once we got into the straight I knew I was going to mow them down. Thankfully the line came in time for us.

“Ever since he was second here last year I’m sure it was on Mr Gosden and Prince Faisal’s mind to come back here. With this race in Prince Faisal’s back garden, it was a no-brainer. He’s taken on some top-class horses from all round the world and he’s proved how good a horse he is and how much he has matured mentally and physically.

“With the amount of prize-money on offer it’s a huge deal, but going into the race I didn’t feel any pressure. It was just like going into any normal race.

“It’s only when you go past the line you realise what a big deal it is.”

Egan dedicated the triumph to his father John, also a jockey, who was on hand to witness the success.

“It’s so special dad being here,” he said.

“If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be the rider or the person I am today. He’s done everything he can to hep me in my career, pushed me and trained me hard and this one’s for him.”

New Show tops high-profile Bahrain treble for David Egan

David Egan stole the show at Sakhir racecourse in Bahrain on Friday as New Show’s victory in the Crown Prince’s Cup proved the highlight of a treble on the card for the jockey.

The Crown Prince’s Cup is a local Grade One and one of three principal races in the Bahrain racing calendar, along with the Bahrain International Trophy in November and the King’s Cup in March.

Having previously been trained in Britain by Kevin Ryan and later Michael Bell, New Show was sold to run in Bahrain in July of 2019 and has now won four of his seven starts for his current connections.

Egan, who has spent the winter in Bahrain, also landed the Bahrain Oaks aboard Waseela and the Bahrain Derby on Paco Man to round off a memorable day for the rider.

He said: “I’m delighted. To win big races for Abdulla Faisal Nass, His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Alkhalifa and Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Alkhalifa all on the same day is a real honour and a privilege.”

Much like the Bahrain International Trophy three months ago, the feature event threw up another dramatic finish, with New Show holding on from several fast finishers.

Desert Lion and Litigator placed second and third, with International Trophy winner Simsir managing only fourth on this occasion.

“Besides the Bahrain International Trophy, I’d say that was the strongest field I’ve ever seen in Bahrain and it rode like a very good race,” Egan continued.

“I followed Desert Lion for most of the way, but I needed some luck in the straight. Luckily, those gaps came for me and he galloped all the way through the line.”

Egan believes New Show could now look to emulate Port Lions, who won this race last year before going on to win in Saudi Arabia.

He added: “He has got an entry in the handicap at the Saudi Cup on the Friday and hopefully we can go there with a live chance.”

Mishriff to take Saudi Cup challenge

Mishriff is being prepared for the $20million Saudi Cup in Riyadh next month.

The four-year-old has previous experience of the dirt course there, having finished second in the Saudi Derby last winter before going on to lift the French Derby at Chantilly in July after winning the Newmarket Stakes.

The John Gosden-trained colt completed a hat-trick in the Prix Guillaume D’Ornano at Deauville in August and was last seen in the Champion Stakes at Ascot on his only subsequent start.

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Ted Voute, racing manager to owner Prince Faisal, said: “John’s preparing him for the race. The Prince and him discussed it in late December and the Prince lives in Riyadh.

“It’s on a dirt track which he handled last year when he came second. We’re going back a furlong, but we hope it won’t inconvenience him.

“It’s something to look forward to. There’s not a lot for him at home until probably June. Last year he went out there and (then) won the French Derby which was the same sort of timing. It gives him a few months off after he comes back.”

Voute confirmed that David Egan will be in the saddle.

“He’s in Bahrain at the moment so he’s nice and close,” he added.

“We’ve contacted him already and he says he’ll be delighted to ride him. He’s retained by us, but for one reason or another he didn’t get back on him last year (after Newmarket).”

More than 100 horses from nine countries and a total of 17 Group One winners have been entered for the Saudi Cup.

Among other British entries are Roger Charlton’s Extra Elusive, Saeed bin Suroor’s Military March, the Charlie Hills-trained Tilsit and William Haggas’ Addeybb, winner of the Champion Stakes.

A particularly strong American challenge on a race won last year by Maximum Security includes the Bob Baffert-trained Charlatan and Kenny McPeek’s Preakness Stakes heroine Swiss Skydiver.

Japan’s recently crowned Dirt Horse of the Year, Chuwa Wizard, could also line up having gained an automatic spot when winning the Champions Cup at Chukyo last month.

Egan puts Mishriff decision behind him with Traisha triumph

David Egan shrugged off losing the plum ride on Mishriff at Ascot on Saturday by steering Traisha to victory in the feature British Stallion Studs EBF Beckford Stakes at Bath.

Egan is retained by Prince Faisal, who has given the ride on the French Derby winner in the Qipco Champion Stakes to Frankie Dettori.

The young jockey put that behind him to take the Listed honours on Irish raider Traisha, trained by Joseph O’Brien.

“Frankie won on him (Mishriff) the last day when I wasn’t able to go due to a suspension, but hopefully I’ll have another good day on him sometime,” Egan told Sky Sports Racing.

“It’s part of racing. The Prince has been very good to me. He sent me to Saudi where I finished second on him and I won a nice race in Newmarket, so it’s been a good connection with the Prince and I’m still retained to him. It’s just on this occasion he decided to use Frankie and I respect his decision.

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“For his horses, he pays a lot of money. His breeding operation is probably very important for this next ride so he wants the best in the business, so I can’t give out to myself being jocked off by the best.”

Egan showed his talent with a composed ride on Traisha (4-1), who bounded clear on the far side rail in the final furlong to land the Listed spoils by three lengths from Urban Artist.

“When the gap came two out, I either had to commit or wait sitting and I decided to go,” he said.

“She had a little look in the last furlong, but she is a very straight-forward filly and Joseph was confident beforehand.”

O’Brien said: “She has been consistent and progressive all year. It’s nice to win a stakes race with her. She’s a very well-bred filly.

“There’s a chance she might stay in training next year. The decision will be with the owners so we’ll wait and see, but there is a chance.”

Megan Nicholls revealed she has taken out a licence to ride over jumps after guiding Quel Destin (5-4 favourite) home for her father Paul in the Signs Express Handicap.

The 3lb-claiming apprentice did mix both codes earlier in her career, but has concentrated solely on the Flat since 2015.

“I will be here for the all-weather and also I’ve just got my jumps licence back out. It’s no big job, we’re not aiming for a National or anything like that, but hopefully for a few bumpers,” she said.

“I would ride over hurdles if Kev (partner, Kevin Stott) allows me. We’ll see what happens. The main thing is we’ll get going again on some of those bumper horses.

“Sometimes when the jumps are snowed off, they have jumpers bumpers at Lingfield, Kempton and Wolverhampton. I ride at those tracks a bit more regularly, so hopefully (I can) have a bit of fun with some of them.”

Daahyeh makes eagerly-awaited return at Ascot

Roger Varian’s Daahyeh returns to action for the first time since finishing a meritorious second at the Breeders’ Cup when she runs in the John Guest Racing British EBF Stakes at Ascot.

A fruitful first campaign, in which she was also second to Love in the Moyglare Stud Stakes, culminated in a trip to America, where she was beaten by Sharing.

A setback delayed her return, but David Egan, who won twice on her last season – including the Albany Stakes – is looking forward to getting back on board.

“We’ve not seen her on track this year as she had a little setback, but I’m sure she will be spot on for Saturday and I’m hoping she can get back to her best,” said Egan.

“She has obviously got the form in the book having been second in the Breeders’ Cup and being a Royal Ascot winner, so she is the one to beat. They’ve done plenty of work with her and Roger feels she is fit and ready to go and make her mark for the year.

“She is back at seven furlongs having run over a mile at the Breeders’ Cup, but she won the Rockfel over seven and the Albany over six, so she is not short of speed. I think an Ascot seven is well within her capabilities.

“I wouldn’t want it bottomless for her, but anything would be fine as long as it is not exaggerated.”

Another Royal Ascot winner, Charlie Fellowes’ Onassis, once again has the assistance of Hayley Turner, having finished fourth in a Doncaster Group Three last time out.

Onassis won at Royal Ascot  for Hayley Turner
Onassis won at Royal Ascot for Hayley Turner (Megan Ridgwell/PA)

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The Newmarket trainer said: “The form of the Doncaster race worked out very nicely when Cloak Of Spirits (fifth) and Bounce The Blues (third) went and ran first and second in that race (Rosemary Stakes) the other day.

“She loves Ascot – her run style really suits it, and seven furlongs with cut in the ground, which it’s going to be, is perfect.

“We’re ready to go – she’s in good form, and it will be absolutely ideal for her.”

Fellowes, meanwhile, is similarly enthused by the prospects of King Ottokar, also over seven furlongs, in the tote.co.uk Challenge Cup – having at last, he believes, worked out what makes the talented son of Motivator tick.

“King Ottokar has been a real head-scratcher,” he said.

“I’ve never made any secret of how highly I regard this horse.

“(But) he was going nowhere in the spring – he showed me nothing, and I was really disappointed with his work.

“He ran poorly twice, and then we gelded him, and I put a visor on him at home – and it was like a different horse. The horse I had last year returned.

“He showed me much more speed than he’d shown me all year, much more speed.

“He’s much better on soft ground, and confirmed that the other day. It looks like we’re probably going to get his conditions this weekend.”

Trainer Clive Cox during is looking to continue his good form this weekend
Trainer Clive Cox during is looking to continue his good form this weekend (John Walton/PA)

King Ottokar faces 17 rivals in a hugely-competitive heat, including Clive Cox’s duo of River Nymph and Wise Counsel.

Cox is also represented in the John Guest Bengough Stakes by Snazzy Jazzy, who wears first-time cheekpieces.

“He is in the form of his life at home. I’ve put some cheekpieces on him as I just think he would help his concentration,” said Cox.

“We’ve moved between six and seven furlongs with him, but I don’t know what happened last time at Goodwood. The one thing we can do is sleep easy with all this rain about as the more rain the better for him.”

In the same race, The Tin Man returns to a track where he has won two Group Ones for James Fanshawe.

“We know he acts with cut in the ground, but there is a lot forecast and when it gets to extremes you just don’t know,” said Fanshawe.

“As far as the horse is concerned he’s really well and we are running in a Group Three rather than a Group One, so hopefully he’ll find it a bit easier.

“He’s in good form, he’s been working well so we’ll see how he gets on.”

In the tote.co.uk Rous Stakes over five furlongs Tiz Marvellous carries the hopes of Cox, along with the three-year-old Star In The Making.

“Tiz Marvellous often turns up in races like this,” said Cox.

“He surprised me when he won the conditions race at Leicester on soft ground because I’ve always believed he wanted better ground. Even if it is really wet we are going to take a chance with him as it is his last run of the season.

“It is a bit of a big step for Star In The Making to take but she enjoys the ground, she is in excellent form and when you have got a filly in form at this time of year it pays to be brave.

“We going to have a crack at getting some black type on her page.”

Egan all set for Mishriff’s Champion Stakes bid

David Egan is looking forward to renewing his partnership with Mishriff in next month’s Qipco Champion Stakes – after missing the colt’s two big wins in France this year.

Egan, 21, had to sit out the French Derby because of travel restrictions brought on by Covid-19, and then picked up an untimely suspension before John Gosden’s colt followed up in the Prix Guillaume D’Ornano at Deauville.

The Champion Stakes is the highlight of what will be the 10th Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot, and Egan is just thrilled to be involved as he seeks a first Group One.

“I’m retained by Prince Faisal (owner), and so I want his horses to do as well as they can, whether I’m the one riding them or not,” he said, reflecting on Mishriff’s French adventures without him.

“I was over the moon watching Mishriff win the French Derby, thinking I’d be able to ride him next time, and then it was just unfortunate I couldn’t get back on him at Deauville. But I’ve had some good days on him, and hopefully there will be many more.”

Mishriff has been one of the emerging stars of this season
Mishriff has been one of the emerging stars of this season (Edward Whitaker/PA)

Egan was the third jockey to ride Mishriff in public, but the first to do so to victory.

He added: “I rode Mishriff for the first time when he won by 10 lengths at Nottingham last year, and then I was on him again when he was a good second in the Saudi Derby – when he made up a lot of ground in the straight after being a bit slow out of the gates.

“When we went to Newmarket in June most people seemed to be expecting his stable-mate Waldkonig to win, but Mishriff showed he was still improving by winning really well.

“He’s gone on improving since, and it’s been great to see. It’s a privilege to ride him.

“He’s so straightforward and he really tries for you. He’s got a very low head carriage and he just eats up the ground. He’s gone on good going, he’s gone on bottomless ground and he’s gone on dirt, so he’s very genuine and versatile.”