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Stradivarius to race next year

Stradivarius is set to carry on racing as an eight-year-old, connections of the veteran stayer have revealed.

Following discussions, owner Bjorn Nielsen and joint trainers John and Thady Gosden have decided to keep the three-time Ascot Gold Cup winner in training in 2022.

The Royal Ascot showpiece, in which he finished fourth this season, will again be a main objective – preceded by a prep run.

“He’s still training as he did four years ago, so we’re happy to race on. We’re looking forward to it,” Nielsen told www.sportinglife.com.

The owner reports Stradivarius is expected to reappear in either the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot or Yorkshire Cup at York, before heading to the Royal meeting.

Stradivarius won three of his six races this year – the Sagaro, the Lonsdale Cup and Doncaster Cup. The son of Sea The Stars is also a four-time Goodwood Cup winner.

Soft ground prevented Stradivarius from going for a fifth successive win in the Goodwood Cup this summer, but that race is also expected to be on his agenda in 2022.

Thady Gosden is delighted Stradivarius will continue his racing career for another season.

“He still loves his training and racing, and it’s exciting for everyone to have him for another year,” he told PA Media.

Mishriff team set out Saudi Cup target

Mishriff is set to defend his Saudi Cup title after connections ruled out a Breeders’ Cup challenge.

The four-year-old had been under consideration for the Turf at Del Mar on November 6 after a fine campaign that saw him win in Riyadh in February, before adding further Group One glory in the Dubai Sheema Classic and the Juddmonte International at York.

Mishriff also placed in the Eclipse and King George for trainers John and Thady Gosden, but could finish only fourth when favourite for the Champion Stakes at Ascot last week.

The Prince Faisal-owned colt is now set to stay in training in 2022, with a Riyadh return uppermost in connections’ minds.

The owner’s racing manager Ted Voute said: “The Prince has said that unless a huge offer comes in for him to go to stud – and I think the likelihood of that is pretty slim at this stage of the year with all the marketing that’s required – then he will be back next year.

“In fairness to John, up until he won the Juddmonte, he was always of the opinion that Del Mar might be a bit sharp for a big horse like him.

“He thinks we should follow the same route as last year by freshening him up after the Champion before heading back to the Saudi Cup – that’s the target.

“Although he’s had a bit of time between his races this season, he has been on the go since February.

“John said we’ll aim for the same races in Europe again, although whether he ends up in the Champion Stakes or the Arc, we’ll have to see.”

Stradivarius and Trueshan could clash in Doncaster Cup

Stradivarius will face six rivals as he bids for a second Doncaster Cup win on Town Moor on Friday.

John and Thady Gosden’s charge will be making his third trip to the Yorkshire track, having won this race in 2019 and finished a close third in the 2017 St Leger on his only other visit to the venue.

Having disappointed when finishing fourth in his challenge for a fourth Gold Cup win at Ascot in June, Stradivarius returned to winning form with a narrow victory over Spanish Mission in the Lonsdale Cup at York last month.

Frankie Dettori in flying dismount form from Stradivarius at Doncaster
Frankie Dettori in flying dismount form from Stradivarius at Doncaster (Tim Goode/PA)

The Grand Visir was a distant third that day and tries his luck again, while Trueshan, who was a non runner at York due to quick ground, could now get his chance to take on Stradivarius for trainer Alan King, who will be hoping all of the forecast rain materialises.

The Doncaster Cup features as part of the British Champions Series, but King reaffirmed Trueshan would not run if conditions stayed as they were on Wednesday morning, good to firm.

“We need plenty of rain. If it stays as it is he doesn’t run, but he breezed lovely this morning and he’s ready to roll if it comes. They could get five to 10 millimetres, so we’ll just wait and see,” said King.

Melbourne Cup hope Rodrigo Diaz, Nayef Road, Alerta Roja and Eagles By Day complete the line up for the Group Two heat.

Armor is a leading fancy for the Flying Childers
Armor is a leading fancy for the Flying Childers (John Walton/PA)

The Wainwright Flying Childers Stakes is the other Group Two prize on day three of the St Leger meeting, with Richard Hannon’s Armor leading the way after winning the Molecomb and finishing fourth in the Prix Morny last time out.

George Boughey is double-handed in the 11-runner affair with Thunder Love and Corazon, who won a Group Three heat at ParisLongchamp last week.

Chipotle returns to juvenile company for Eve Johnson Houghton after tackling the Nunthorpe Stakes last time out, with Karl Burke fielding Korker along with Roses Stakes victor Attagirl.

Caturra finished second for Clive Cox in the Roses Stakes and reopposes, while Bond Chairman, Papa Don’t Preach, The Organiser and Up Above are the other contenders.

Mishriff primed for Eclipse bid at Sandown

Mishriff is reported to be in tip-top form as he bids to win at the highest level on home soil for the first time in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown.

Trained by John and Thady Gosden, the four-year-old was one of a small but select list of seven horses left in Saturday’s 10-furlong Group One at the confirmation stage

Mishriff is already a Group One winner in France and Dubai and has also won the Saudi Cup on dirt, beating some specialist American challengers to prove his versatility.

His form received a timely boost when Chrono Genesis, runner-up to the Make Believe colt in the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan in March, won in Japan on Sunday.

“Everything seems fine. We’re one of seven left in, let’s see what the weather brings and see what happens,” said Ted Voute, racing manager to owner Prince Faisal.

“The Japanese horse he beat (Chrono Genesis) in the Middle East won a Group One in Japan on Sunday. That fills us up with some optimism.

“The Prince talked to John (Gosden) after the horse worked on Saturday and they were all positive. I haven’t talked to John but the Prince is over and got over in time so can get out of quarantine and be available for race day, so fingers crossed.”

St Mark’s Basilica is dual Classic winner in France this term
St Mark’s Basilica is dual Classic winner in France this term (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Aidan O’Brien is likely to field the main opposition with three of the seven hailing from Ballydoyle.

He can choose from French 2000 Guineas and Derby winner St Mark’s Basilica, who will be tackling older horses for the first time, Armory, who was third to stablemate Love at Royal Ascot and Japan, who took third behind Ghaiyyath in this race last year.

Voute is looking forward to a potential showdown with St Mark’s Basilica and others.

“The clash with St Mark’s Basilica is great. It’s a big weight difference but it always is and there’s the lovely filly of Chris Wright’s from Ascot (Wonderful Tonight). It should be a good race with any luck,” he added.

“If we’re going to be the best, we’ve got to beat the best out there. This is a step in the right direction.”

William Haggas will be hoping it rains during the week to enable him to run the soft-ground lover Addeybb.

Addeybb could go for gold at Sandown
Addeybb could go for gold at Sandown (Mike Egerton/PA)

While the gelding may be seven years old now, he showed he is as good as ever when once again winning a Group One in Australia in April.

David Menuisier enjoyed one of the finest days of his career when Wonderful Tonight won the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot. She remains in the mix but would be dropping in trip and requires ease in the ground.

Roger Varian’s El Drama completes the possibles. The Dee Stakes winner finished only 15th behind St Mark’s Basilica in the Prix du Jockey Club.

Clerk of the course Andrew Cooper reported conditions on the round track to be a mixture of good to soft and soft following rain on Sunday.

“We had about 18 millimetres of rain on Sunday evening and we’ve had a murky, drizzly morning. We’d been dry for best part of a week,” he said.

Sandown clerk of the course Andrew Cooper
Sandown clerk of the course Andrew Cooper (Steve Parsons/PA)

“I walked the course this morning and the round course was a mixture of soft and good to soft. Overall, you could call it good to soft, soft in places. The five-furlong course was soft.

“There are showers forecast today and Tuesday. We are under a low pressure system so what happens over the next 48 hours will be key to where we are at the end of the week. We are not clear of that until Wednesday morning.

“Wednesday to Friday looks drier, but no great rise in temperatures all week and for the weekend there is suggestion of some showery activity coming from the Atlantic that might influence things, but that is some way off.

“Last night’s rain has left us on the easy side. We’re just going to monitor daily and see where we go.

“It’s unlikely to be quickish ground but, depending what happens in the next 48 hours, somewhere near good is possible.”

Cooper was happy with the shape of the field for the Eclipse.

“I am not surprised it is a comparatively smallish number. Of the 31 left in prior to today, a lot had run recently. Aidan (O’Brien) had 13 of them and he was not going to confirm everything,” he added.

“What it delivers is a clash of the generations – the French Derby winner (St Mark’s Basilica) going up against the calibre of Mishriff. That is what the Eclipse is all about.”

Mishriff tops seven seeking Eclipse honours

John and Thady Gosden’s Mishriff heads a small but select list of seven contenders for Saturday’s Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown.

The four-year-old is already a Group One winner in France and Dubai and will be aiming to win at the highest level for the first time on home soil.

He has also won the Saudi Cup on dirt, beating some specialist American challengers to prove his versatility.

St Mark’s Basilica is dual Classic winner in France this term
St Mark’s Basilica is dual Classic winner in France this term (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Aidan O’Brien is likely to field the main opposition with three of the seven hailing from Ballydoyle.

He can choose from French 2000 Guineas and Derby winner St Mark’s Basilica, who will be tackling older horses for the first time, Armory, who was third to stablemate Love at Royal Ascot and Japan, who took third behind Ghaiyyath in this race last year.

William Haggas will be hoping it rains during the week to enable him to run the soft-ground lover Addeybb.

Addeybb could go for gold at Sandown
Addeybb could go for gold at Sandown (Mike Egerton/PA)

While the gelding may be seven years old now, he showed he is as good as ever when once again winning a Group One in Australia in April.

David Menuisier enjoyed one of the finest days of his career when Wonderful Tonight won the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot. She remains in the mix but would be dropping in trip and requires ease in the ground.

Roger Varian’s El Drama completes the possibles. The Dee Stakes winner finished only 15th behind St Mark’s Basilica in the Prix du Jockey Club.

Clerk of the course Andrew Cooper reported conditions on the round track to be a mixture of good to soft and soft following rain on Sunday.

“We had about 18 millimetres of rain on Sunday evening and we’ve had a murky, drizzly morning. We’d been dry for best part of a week,” he said.

Sandown clerk of the course Andrew Cooper
Sandown clerk of the course Andrew Cooper (Steve Parsons/PA)

“I walked the course this morning and the round course was a mixture of soft and good to soft. Overall, you could call it good to soft, soft in places. The five-furlong course was soft.

“There are showers forecast today and Tuesday. We are under a low pressure system so what happens over the next 48 hours will be key to where we are at the end of the week. We are not clear of that until Wednesday morning.

“Wednesday to Friday looks drier, but no great rise in temperatures all week and for the weekend there is suggestion of some showery activity coming from the Atlantic that might influence things, but that is some way off.

“Last night’s rain has left us on the easy side. We’re just going to monitor daily and see where we go.

“It’s unlikely to be quickish ground but, depending what happens in the next 48 hours, somewhere near good is possible.”

Cooper was happy with the shape of the field for the Eclipse.

“I am not surprised it is a comparatively smallish number. Of the 31 left in prior to today, a lot had run recently. Aidan (O’Brien) had 13 of them and he was not going to confirm everything,” he added.

“What it delivers is a clash of the generations – the French Derby winner (St Mark’s Basilica) going up against the calibre of Mishriff. That is what the Eclipse is all about.”

Oisin Murphy crowned top jockey at Royal Ascot

A single victory on the final day helped Oisin Murphy secure top jockey honours for the first time at Royal Ascot.

Five winners were enough to seal the accolade for the 25-year-old champion jockey, who clinched the coveted prize aboard Foxes Tales for King Power Racing and trainer Andrew Balding.

“I wouldn’t have expected to get it – if you had asked me on Tuesday morning if I would be leading jockey I’d have said ‘of course not’,” said Murphy.

“It normally belongs to Ryan (Moore) and Frankie (Dettori), but they gave me a turn this week and thanks very much to the fast horses this week.

“It’s beyond my wildest dreams to be top jockey here. I watched this meeting with my parents and never thought this armband belonged with me. The last few days have been incredible.”

He added: “It’s special because as I’ve got older I’ve appreciated these days even more. I know I’m only 25, but life is precious. It’s a huge buzz.”

Asked for his highlight, Murphy nominated Friday’s Coronation Stakes heroine Alcohol Free, whose victory came just after Murphy had been demoted from first place aboard Dragon Symbol in the Commonwealth Cup.

Oisin Murphy enjoyed the victory of Alcohol Free
Oisin Murphy enjoyed the victory of Alcohol Free (David Davies/PA)

He said: “My best moment of the week was Alcohol Free. She came along at a very important time in my career last year – I was under a lot of pressure and I managed to nail a Group One (in the Cheveley Park Stakes) – and yesterday was a similar scenario. The pressure was on.”

Murphy was 4-9 favourite at the start of day five after doing the hard work earlier in the week and he had a full book of seven rides.

However, his first three mounts were unplaced and his luck appeared to be out when Starman was withdrawn from the Diamond Jubilee Stakes because of the soft ground.

Murphy was sill able to get a ride in the six-furlong Group One when he was allowed to switch to the Andrew Balding-trained Happy Power at the expense of Jim Crowley, and managed to finish fourth.

Murphy could be excused getting a little twitchy as the big prize went to Moore on Dream Of Dreams for Sir Michael Stoute.

It was Moore’s second of the day, and third of the meeting, after he struck first blood to give himself a sporting chance when taking the Chesham Stakes on Point Lonsdale.

The son of Australia, giving Aidan O’Brien a record sixth winner in the Listed contest, foiled Frankie Dettori on John and Thady Gosden’s Reach For The Moon, owned by the Queen.

Moore won the concluding Queen Alexandra Stakes on Stratum for Willie Mullins, but it was not enough for him to catch Murphy.

Oisin Murphy celebrates with Foxes Tales
Oisin Murphy celebrates with Foxes Tales (David Davies/PA)

William Buick also briefly had hope as he went to three with a superb victory on David Menuisier’s wonder filly Wonderful Tonight in the Hardwicke Stakes. But there was ultimately no stopping Murphy.

Despite the success of Foxes Tales, Balding was edged out by John and Thady Gosden for top trainer honours on countback, with both outfits finishing on four winners.

Gosden senior said: “First of all, we had the most glorious weather for three days – cool on Thursday, stunningly hot and summer on Tuesday and Wednesday, and great racing under those conditions. It was wonderful to see people back in here; 10,000 people, all socially distanced, tests taken.

“There is no doubt with the rain that came heavily here on the Friday, the Ascot executive and all the ground staff did a magnificent job in changing some of the railing, organising to get away from some of the places that were a little bit waterlogged, and we raced right through yesterday and right through today.

Palace Pier was one of the stars of the week in the Queen Anne
Palace Pier was one of the stars of the week in the Queen Anne (Steven Paston/PA)

“Fabulous racing and horses seemed in great order, and I think it’s a testament to willpower that it’s been pulled off with Government blessing to go ahead, and I think it’s a very safe environment. Of course, we are in big, open spaces, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, but it was very safe at the same time.

“The first race on the first day, Palace Pier, was wonderful for us. The Gold Cup – we didn’t have the best trip (with Stradivarius), but I thought the winner (Subjectivist) was the best horse, and I think he won in great style.

“We had a great meeting with some fillies winning Group Two races, and it was a good atmosphere here – safe, sensible and people actually coming out and living their lives again.”

A one-two for trainer Charlie Appleby with Creative Force and Naval Crown in the Jersey Stakes ensured Godolphin were leading owners with three winners.

Godolphin managing director Hugh Anderson said: “I am delighted for everyone at Godolphin and of course His Highness Sheikh Mohammed. This has already been a memorable season for Godolphin with Derby success and to be crowned Royal Ascot Leading Owner once again is very special.

“We hope for more success throughout the rest of the year.”

Eclipse in reckoning as Gosden considers Lord North’s options

John Gosden will consider upcoming options for Lord North after he missed the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Fast ground at the Berkshire track meant the five-year-old was denied the chance to defend his crown in the Group One showpiece, with his trainer taking the view conditions were too quick for his gelding – who was last seen winning the Dubai Turf in March.

An obvious next target would appear to the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown, although that race has been marked out for the reappearance of brilliant stablemate Mishriff – and could even be a target for Queen Anne winner Palace Pier, should Gosden and son Thady opt to step him up in trip.

The Clarehaven trainer said: “I was hoping the ground would be all right for him, but it is too quick – as it was for William Haggas’ horse Addeybb. He will be doing the same. He’ll be looking at the Eclipse Stakes.

“We’re not afraid of running our horses against each other. I do like to see how they come 10 days after racing. Ascot to the Eclipse is always close. It would be 18 days for Palace Pier.”

Quick ground scuppers Lord North’s Ascot outing

Lord North will not contest this afternoon’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The five-year-old won the 10-furlong feature last year and had been set for a high-profile clash with dual Classic winner Love.

However, with the ground officially described as good to firm, trainers John and Thady Gosden have declared their charge a non runner.

Dazzling Derab upholds family tradition at Newmarket

Derab, a half-brother to the mighty Enable, blitzed the opposition when losing his maiden tag in the Betfair Novice Stakes at Newmarket.

Runner-up on his first two starts, the son of Sea The Stars made no mistake with a quality display that augurs well for the future.

John and Thady Gosden’s colt was always travelling easily over the Rowley Mile and when Martin Harley pressed the button, the response was immediate.

Derab (10-11 favourite) quickly put daylight between himself and his rivals to win by six and a half lengths from Fireworks.

Gosden senior said: “He has run very well. He ran very well at Ascot first time out, then we ran into a problem in the autumn.

“He came back and he was a bit fresh. We were very keen to settle him at Newbury and we were more interested in settling him than anything else.

“He was much more sensible today and has run a lovely race. He has grown up a lot.”

He added: “We will either keep him at a mile or go a mile and a quarter and look at options over those trips.

“I don’t know if he is one for the Hampton Court at Royal Ascot, as that is a bit of a way off. He has made big bounds now – he has always wanted to be in a hurry about life, but he is doing things in the correct rhythm now.”

A Star Above delighted trainer William Haggas
A Star Above delighted trainer William Haggas (Mike Egerton/PA)

A Star Above reaped the benefit of a good comeback run to take the Betfair Weighed-In Podcast Handicap.

Fourth at Doncaster last month after being off the track for 231 days, the William Haggas-trained four-year-old scooted clear over a furlong out and was not hard pressed to score by a length and three-quarters from To Be Wild.

Haggas said: “It was a good staying performance. He got quite tired first time out but he stayed well today. I think there is a nice staying race in him.

“He ran in the Melrose up at York last year, but he wasn’t quite up to that. He is a nice stayer that is very genuine. I think he will get further than a mile and three quarters, but I’m not sure there is a need to go further.”

Turntable in winning action under Callum Shepherd
Turntable in winning action under Callum Shepherd (Mike Egerton/PA)

Turntable (11-2) built on his encouraging seasonal debut to land the Back And Lay On Betfair Exchange Handicap for Chris Wall.

The five-year-old was too good for Jean Baptiste in the closing stages and went on to win by a length and a half in the hands of Callum Shepherd.

Master The Stars was awarded the Betfair Exchange Handicap in the stewards’ room after finishing second past the post.

Good Birthday crossed the line in front by a short head but the placings were reversed following an inquiry.

Master The Stars (7-1), ridden by 5lb claimer Mark Crehan, was winning for the first time since July.

Good Birthday’s jockey Silvestre de Sousa was banned for two days for careless riding.

Stradivarius returns to Ascot in Sagaro Stakes

Three-time Gold Cup winner Stradivarius returns to Ascot on Wednesday when he makes his seasonal reappearance in the Longines Sagaro Stakes.

John and Thady Gosden’s seven-year-old escapes a penalty in the Group Three as he failed to win in three outings following his Goodwood Cup success.

He will face six rivals and they include last year’s Sagaro winner Nayef Road, trained by Mark Johnston, who triumphed at Newcastle as the race was one of a number of calendar changes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nayef Road was second to Stradivarius at both Ascot and Goodwood last season.

Frankie Dettori was again jumping for joy from Stradivarius last season
Frankie Dettori was again jumping for joy from Stradivarius last season (Julian Finney/PA)

There are two improving stayers among the opposition in Roger Teal’s Ocean Wind and Archie Watson’s Stag Horn.

Desert Skyline, Island Brave and Prince Of Arran complete the field.

Clive Cox’s Middle Park winner Supremacy is the star turn among 10 in the Qipco British Champions Series horseracinghof.com Pavilion Stakes.

As well as his Group One at Newmarket, Supremacy also won the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood.

Martyn Meade’s Method is his chief threat on official ratings, although he was well behind Supremacy in the Middle Park.

Supremacy was a Group One winner in the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket
Supremacy was a Group One winner in the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Mighty Gurkha and Saint Lawrence are others in the race with three-figure ratings.

Lincoln winner Haqeeqy steps up in class in the Charlie Waller Trust Paradise Stakes, which is seen as a trial for the Queen Anne.

Ridden by the now suspended Benoit de la Sayette at Doncaster, Jim Crowley takes over on the Gosden-trained four-year-old, who is owned by Hissa Hamdan Al Maktoum, daughter of the late Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.

Paul and Oliver Cole’s Duke Of Hazzard has his first run since a wind operation, while Sir Busker returns to Ascot having run so well to finish fourth in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Champions Day.

Haqeeqy shone in the Lincoln
Haqeeqy shone in the Lincoln (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Marie’s Diamond, Prince Eiji and Sir Michael Stoute’s Solid Stone all take their chance.

Six promising three-year-olds line up in the Naas Racecourse Royal Ascot Trials Day British EBF Fillies’ Conditions Stakes, including Charlie Appleby’s Danilova, the beaten favourite in the Sweet Solera last year.

Eve Johnson Houghton’s Brocklesby winner Chipotle faces two other previous winners in Gubbass and The Gatekeeper as well as newcomers War Of Courage and Wrought Iron in the Royal Ascot Two-Year-Old Trial Conditions Stakes.

Palace Pier back in style with mighty Mile performance

Palace Pier proved a class apart from his rivals as he returned to winning ways in the bet365 Mile at Sandown.

John and Thady Gosden’s four-year-old made giant strides last year, starting out with a handicap victory at Newcastle on his reappearance before winning the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

He then went on to land the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville – but was bogged down by the very soft ground on Champions Day back at Ascot, losing his unbeaten record in the process.

Despite connections attempting to dampen enthusiasm before his return in terms of his fitness, he was still the 4-11 market leader against just three rivals, which included Roger Varian’s Khuzaam, so impressive when winning on All-Weather Finals Day.

Frankie Dettori had to encourage Palace Pier to take up the running from the latter with well over a furlong to run and while he did not pick up immediately, when he did his response was emphatic.

On meeting the rising ground Palace Pier found overdrive and ran out a hugely impressive eight-length winner from Bless Him in second.

On the back of his victory Paddy Power make Palace Pier their 10-11 favourite from 13-8 for the Lockinge at Newbury next month.

Frankie Dettori and Palace Pier in full flight
Frankie Dettori and Palace Pier in full flight (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Gosden said: “He was 80 per cent today, but luckily they didn’t put it up to him.

“He’s having a good blow and in terms of where we would look next, this was the right starting point.

“It should put him spot on for the Lockinge at Newbury and then we would look towards Royal Ascot (Queen Anne).

“He’s a grand horse and I’m sure he will get further at some stage,. We will put him in the Eclipse, although I’m mindful that it comes pretty close to Royal Ascot.”

Waldkonig passes Gordon Richards test with flying colours

Waldkonig confirmed himself as a top-class prospect for the season ahead as handled the step up in class to win the bet365 Gordon Richard Stakes at Sandown for John and Thady Gosden.

A half-brother to 2019 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Waldgeist, the Kingman colt was sent off odds-on to be stablemate Mishriff this time last year – with subsequent events proving he was up against one of the best horses in the world.

Having won a handicap at Pontefract off a mark off 101 on his seasonal return, he was the 6-4 favourite to beat a field who all had solid Group-race form to their name.

Settled in second by Frankie Dettori as Extra Elusive set the pace, Waldgeist hit the front well over a furlong out.

Waldkonig stretches clear
Waldkonig stretches clear (Neil Morrice)

The only runner to make any significant ground from the rear was the veteran Desert Encounter, but he never looked like catching the winner and went down by a length and a quarter.

Extra Elusive stuck on for third, but Thunderous and Highest Ground, first and second in last year’s Dante, both disappointed.

Gosden said: “We had some very bad trouble with a deeply-infected tooth with this horse which required two operations to get it out, as it was so deep.

“He was very ill, but has come back well to win on fast ground at Pontefract and on well-watered ground today.”

Waldkonig looks pleased with himself on his return
Waldkonig looks pleased with himself on his return (Neil Morrice)

He went on: “He’s come through everything and is a relatively fresh horse and when you look back at his form, such as his third behind Mishriff at Newmarket, it is pretty hard to knock.”

Betfair gave the winner an 8-1 quote for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, but a return to Sandown could be on the agenda.

Looking to future plans, Gosden said: “The options will be over a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half, including the big one here in July (Eclipse).

“Frankie said he thinks he’ll get further, while his breeder told me right from the start he would be a better horse at four or five.”

John and Thady Gosden celebrate first winner under joint licence

Regent gave John and Thady Gosden a winner with their first runner since taking out a joint licence when successful at Lingfield.

It was a perfect start for the father-and-son team ahead of a big Saturday, with high-profile runners in Dubai and Doncaster for Newmarket’s Clarehaven stables.

Regent was their only runner of the day and she obliged in pleasing style.

“I’ll have to make two phone calls on the way home now,” joked winning rider Robert Havlin.

“That was good. It’s nice to ride the joint partnership’s first winner. Nothing much has changed really, but it’s nice to get it done.

“Thady is a chip off the old block and he’s been around the place for years, so there’s no real transition. It’s just business as usual really.”

The grey daughter of Frankel came from the rear of the field to land the Get Your Ladbrokes Daily Odds Boost Fillies’ Novice Stakes under a patient ride from Havlin.

The early pace for the 10-furlong heat was set by Friendly Princess and New Heights until the pack, led by Invite and Regent, closed in approaching the straight.

Hollie Doyle set sail for home on Invite on the home turn, but the move was covered by Havlin on the 11-8 favourite.

Regent knuckled down to her task to lead well inside the final furlong and score by half a length from Invite, with Marsden Cross four lengths away in third place.

Regent was now won the last two of her three career starts.

“This filly has been a bit of a project,” Havlin told Sky Sports Racing.

“She wants to do everything at a million miles an hour. I went out thinking I’ll make it up as I go along, but she was pretty slowly away as she has been on every occasion so far. There was one messing about in the stalls upset her.

“I rode her the way I did as she jumped so slow. Although she’s bit flighty, she’s getting better each race. She sticks her head down and she’s got plenty of guts.

“She’s seen all her three races out strong. If she can keep improving mentally and keep a lid on her, she’d be OK.”

Mishriff mission to give Thady Gosden dream start

As dream starts to a new career go, winning the Dubai Sheema Classic with Mishriff would be hard to beat for Thady Gosden.

A regular presence on racecourses in recent years representing his father John, he now shares the British licence at Clarehaven Stables in Newmarket.

The team enjoyed a first winner on a joint ticket at Lingfield on Friday -and while Mishriff runs solely in Gosden senior’s name in Dubai, it is the younger man who has been overseeing preparations at Meydan.

“He takes everything in his stride,” he said, of Mishriff.

“He travelled very well to Saudi and enjoyed the training out there, and it’s been the same here.

“I think he likes the routine of coming out on to the track, doing a lap and going back in. It’s nothing too stressful at all.

“He’s still holding his condition well from all the travelling. Obviously its a pretty long way there and back, and then a month later come back out here, but he’s taken it all very well so far – we’ll find out on Saturday.”

As well as winning connections a fortune, Mishriff proved his versatility in the Saudi Cup on dirt but now steps up in trip and goes back on the turf.

Thady Gosden speaks to the press in Dubai
Thady Gosden speaks to the press in Dubai (Dubai Racing Club/Marthea Kelley)

“He broke well, and David (Egan) gave him a brilliant ride (in Saudi),” said Gosden.

“Obviously the American horses, including Charlatan, had a lot of early speed so he knew he had to be up there with them and if he got away in the straight, he might be tough to catch. David rode him perfectly, and the horse showed a lot of class.

“He has plenty of size and scope about him as well and he’s really matured well into a four-year-old – he’s definitely gone the right way from three.

“The thought process was that we’ll always be running on turf back in the UK – it’s a mile-and-a-half race, and depending on how he runs that will decide his road map for the rest of the year and which races to target.”

David Egan handled the pressure well in the Saudi Cup
David Egan handled the pressure well in the Saudi Cup (Bill Selwyn/PA)

Of Egan, who missed a couple of big-race rides on Mishriff last year through suspension and Covid protocols, Gosden said: “He’s very cool, calm and collected all the time.

“He thinks everything through thoroughly – he’s a brilliant jockey.”

While predicting not much will change at Clarehaven, the 25-year-old does admit to a sense of anticipation.

“Its very exciting,” he said.

“We’re lucky at home – we have a wonderful team there, who work incredibly hard, so hopefully things will go in the right direction, but we’ll find out! Things obviously won’t change very much.”

Chief opponent to Mishriff, according to the betting at least, is Aidan O’Brien’s Mogul, another to have won a big international race – in Hong Kong.

O’Brien has never made any secret of the regard in which he holds Mogul, and this could be the year he really delivers.

“Obviously this will be his first run of the season, but he ran in the middle of December in Hong Kong – he came out of that race very well and he seems to be in good form,” said O’Brien.

“He is a horse that likes nice ground, and a flat track seems to suit him. The ground is always beautiful in Meydan, and it’s a great track.

“We think Mogul is ready to start for the season. He is a very solid horse who has a lot of experience of travelling – and he seems to thrive from that really.

“But we are never under any illusions that it is always very competitive racing out there and there are very highly-rated horses competing in these races.”

Mogul takes in his surroundings at Meydan
Mogul takes in his surroundings at Meydan (Erika Ramussen/Dubai Racing Club)

Charlie Appleby runs two in Walton Street and Star Safari, and it is the former who carries his main hopes.

Appleby told www.godolphin.com: “Walton Street goes into this on the back of a very good trial in the Dubai City Of Gold, when he repeated his track record time.

“He has to improve again to be competitive at this level, but ticks a lot of boxes in terms of home advantage.”

Saeed bin Suroor runs Dubai Future, the mount of Frankie Dettori – and while he has been consistent this season, he has three lengths to find with Walton Street.

“He’s a tough horse, always tries his best and he’s in good form, always runs well in Dubai,” said Bin Suroor.

“The trip will suit him, Frankie Dettori will ride. It won’t be an easy race, but we’re looking for a good run from him.”

Andrew Balding runs St Leger runner-up Berkshire Rocco, while Oisin Murphy rides the Japanese filly Loves Only You. Arima Kinen winner Chrono Genesis is another leading hope.