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Gosden keen to welcome owners and spectators back this spring

John Gosden believes owners will be “in as safe an environment as you can possibly have” when they return to the racecourse in the spring.

British racing has confirmed plans to welcome owners and amateur riders back on course from March 29 – with a mid-May return of spectators, in line with the Government’s road map for easing coronavirus restrictions.

The British Horseracing Authority announced its proposed schedule on Friday evening, following this week’s publication of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s four-step route towards the end of lockdown over the coming months.

Winter Derby debrief with Robert Havlin and John Gosden
Winter Derby debrief with Robert Havlin and John Gosden (PA)

The champion trainer – who enjoyed another big-race success at Lingfield on Saturday – attributes the huge open spaces on our racecourses as a watertight reason why the Government should loosen the shackles and allow owners and then crowds into the racing arena.

He said: “We proved all last year that we are in as safe an environment as you could possibly have.

“Through lockdown, we’ve all looked forward to late March and early April when spring happens.

“We must be thankful that we have been able to tick along – but as soon as the Government gives us the green light we have hundreds of acres of huge open spaces on our racecourses, which some people haven’t quite clocked.”

Forest Of Dean claims Winter Derby glory for Gosden and Havlin

John Gosden continued his winter big-race haul, adding the Betway Winter Derby to his Saudi Cup triumph when Forest Of Dean executed his trainer’s ‘Plan B’ to perfection under a copybook ride from Robert Havlin at Lingfield.

Gosden had told Havlin that Plan A was to make the running in the Group Three contest – but when Johnny Drama beat him to that punch the jockey reverted to the second plan, making his move coming down the hill and taking a valuable two lengths out of the field.

Felix and Father Of Jazz tried to close the gap, but ran out of real estate as Forest Of Dean (100-30) held on by three-quarters of a length and a length.

Gosden said: “He’s definitely on an upward curve and Rab rode him beautifully. When he got to the top of the hill he said ‘I’m gonna steal this’ and kept him rolling.

“He’s a brave little horse who was off for over 400 days after having problems following his run at Newbury. I think the Easter Classic over a mile and a quarter (on All-Weather Championships Finals Day) might be more his scene than the Lincoln.”

The Clarehaven trainer had news of Mishriff, who has astounded him since arriving back from Saudi.

He added: “Mishriff is in top order. He came back on Monday and had a lead out on Wednesday, but he was so fresh on Wednesday, squealing and playing, that I had to give him two canters on Warren Hill this morning.

“I’ve spoken to Prince Faisal and we’ve agreed to leave it at least 10 days before making a plan for him.”

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.”

Dubai Warrior primed for Maktoum Challenge

Dubai Warrior bids to add to his six all-weather victories when he tackles dirt for the first time in round two of the Maktoum Challenge at Meydan on Thursday.

Trainer John Gosden is optimistic the surface will not pose a problem to the five-year-old, whose biggest success so far came in the Winter Derby at Lingfield last February.

The son of Dansili will have the services of Frankie Dettori, who is the most successful jockey in the history of a race inaugurated in 1994 with five victories and currently leads the way at this year’s Dubai Carnival. 

“He has been pleasing in his work and works nicely enough on the dirt. Obviously a race is a different matter, so we will find out if he handles it Thursday,” said Gosden.

Among Dubai Warrior’s opposition is Uruguayan raider Ajuste Fiscal, who was fifth to Military Law in round one of the Maktoum Challenge three weeks ago.

Trainer Antonio Cintra Pereira said: “We were very pleased with that first run and the longer trip will suit. We still hope he is a Dubai World Cup horse.” 

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Three other horses from round one – Thegreatcollection (second), Salute The Soldier (third) and Capezzano (seventh) – renew rivalry.

Thegreatcollection’s trainer Doug Watson said: “We have been keen to step him up from 1600m, so this is the ideal opportunity.

“Obviously it is a good race to stretch him out. I think it will suit him, but it is a strong race.” 

Blown By Wind (left) seen here at Newmarket
Blown By Wind (left) seen here at Newmarket (Edward Whitaker/PA)

Capezzano is one of three runners from Salam bin Ghadayer’s stable along with Blown By Wind and Firnas.

Bin Ghadayer said: “Blown By Wind delighted us at Jebel Ali and has been working well since. Capezzano is also going nicely at home, we just need him to transfer that back to the course. 

“Firnas too is in good shape. He is tough and consistent.” 

Lord Glitters (right) represents David O'Meara
Lord Glitters (right) represents David O’Meara (Tim Goode/PA)

David O’Meara’s Lord Glitters will attempt to follow up a recent course and distance triumph in the Al Rashidiya.

The admirable eight-year-old lifted the Group Two Singspiel Stakes in convincing fashion three weeks ago. He has a 3lb penalty to defy in a race monopolised by British-trained runners.

O’Meara said: “That was brilliant in the Singspiel – to travel an eight-year-old and win a big prize was just great. The penalty does not help, but he has remained in great form.” 

Saeed bin Suroor (left) and Charlie Appleby both have runners for Godolphin
Saeed bin Suroor (left) and Charlie Appleby both have runners for Godolphin (Edward Whitaker/PA)

Godolphin have won this Group Two contest for the last four years and have two contenders this time in the Charlie Appleby-trained Zakouski and Saeed bin Suroor’s Dream Castle. They were second and third respectively behind Lord Glitters in the Singspiel.

Appleby said: “We were obviously pleased with Zakouski’s first outing of the year in the Singspiel Stakes, when he produced a good effort. He has come on for that run and a slightly improved performance should put him bang there.” 

Bin Suroor said of Dream Castle: “He ran very well last time and came out of the race in great form. The 1800 metres at Meydan is ideal for him and we expect another big run.” 

David Simcock’s Bless Him, the Ed Walker-trained Cap Francais, Simon Crisford’s Court House and Ralph Beckett’s Kinross complete the seven-strong field.

Gosden seeking high draw for Mishriff’s Saudi Cup challenge

John Gosden is hoping Mishriff will get a wide draw to help his chances in the Saudi Cup in Riyadh next month.

The son of Make Believe took to the dirt surface well when runner-up in the Saudi Derby over a mile last February from stall 12 of 13.

“He worked nicely going into it, but first time on the dirt, you never know. He did have the benefit of a wide draw last year and we were thrilled the way he ran,” said Gosden.

Mishriff, owned and bred by Prince Faisal, built on that run by winning his next three races, including the French Derby when stepped up to a mile and a quarter.

“I think he’s a mile-and-a-quarter horse, very much so,” Gosden told a Saudi Cup press conference.

“He’s got a great stride, great tactical speed and a powerful finish. I think that is his perfect trip. Whether we stretch him out to a mile and a half one day, I don’t know.”

Gosden feels the nine-furlong one-bend showpiece will be run at an American pace, especially with Knicks Go and Charlatan likely to be in the line-up.

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“This race is run on the dirt and at a very different tempo. You need a wide draw,” he said.

“If it was a mile and quarter it would suit us a lot better, but it’s very fast. The Americans go hard and it’s not a race with any hiding places.

“He’s had a nice down time building up to this. He’s a genuine horse, he enjoys his training.

“He’s not a horse who requires a massive amount of work, so to that extent he’s the right type to get ready early in the year.”

David Egan is set to be reunited with Mishriff in the Saudi Cup
David Egan is set to be reunited with Mishriff in the Saudi Cup (Joe Giddens/PA)

David Egan, Prince Faisal’s retained jockey, will take the ride, having missed Mishriff’s last three races in 2020.

“He hadn’t have a great run of it, when he wanted to ride he was either suspended or he was stuck with all the quarantining,” said Gosden.

Frankie Dettori rides Global Giant for the Newmarket handler in the Middle Distance Turf Cup.

The combination went down by a neck in the valuable Bahrain International Trophy in November.

“He came back in great order and breezed nicely this (Wednesday) morning,” Gosden went on.

Global Giant and Frankie Dettori team up in the Middle Distance Turf Cup
Global Giant and Frankie Dettori team up in the Middle Distance Turf Cup (Steven Cargill/PA)

“The horse was as frustrated as the jockey and the owner and the trainer, but he got too far back and got there too late. The wire came up a stride and a half too soon, but that’s racing.

“He’s fine, he’s going for the Middle Distance. It will be a tough race. Distance-wise it’s probably the top end of his range.

“He’s got a very good chance and he’s in good form right now.”

Gosden goes for the Saudi Derby this year with New Treasure, a 90,000 guineas purchase at the Sales in November out of Jim Bolger’s stables in Ireland.

The former Jim Bolger-trained New Treasure runs for the John Gosden stable in the Saudi Derby
The former Jim Bolger-trained New Treasure runs for the John Gosden stable in the Saudi Derby (PA)

“He was in the horses-in-training sale and Jim was selling, so you have to have a sense of reality about that. He didn’t go for a great deal of money,” said Gosden.

“The horse came here and the owners wanted to aim him at this race.

“He won a Group Three (Round Tower Stakes) over six furlongs on soft ground. He’s not run over a mile before, but we’re hopeful he’ll get it.

“He’s on a one-way ticket. He races and stays there to race with the local horses.

“He’s very genuine and is a giver. He’s a fun horse to run in the race and it a great way of going down there – a Group Three winner and going for the Saudi Derby.”

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.

Gosden and Dettori pay tribute to owner Khalid Abdullah

John Gosden and Frankie Dettori led the tributes to owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah following his death on Tuesday.

Together the trio enjoyed huge success on the track, most notably with the brilliant racemare Enable, who was retired last October having won 15 of her 19 career starts, with her tally of 11 Group Ones including back-to-back victories in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Last summer Enable became the first horse to win a third King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, while her big-race haul also included the Oaks at Epsom, the Irish Oaks, two Yorkshire Oaks’ and the Coral-Eclipse.

Other big-race winners for the Abdullah-Gosden combination include 2019 St Leger hero Logician, the top-class miler Kingman and the popular sprinter Oasis Dream.

Enable won two Arcs for Abdullah, Gosden and Dettori
Enable won two Arcs for Abdullah, Gosden and Dettori (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

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Gosden told the PA news agency: “Prince Khalid Abdullah first enjoyed going racing in the 1950s as a young man in Paris. This sparked his bold and thorough plan to establish a breeding operation in the late 1970s, an illustration of his brilliant mind.

“In the period of 20 years, he established himself as both a European and American champion breeder. His charming and humorous manner was coupled with a great strategic approach, both in business and in his horseracing and breeding operation.

“He was a very private and patrician gentleman and a very strong family man, for whom it has been a great honour and privilege to train for 38 years.”

Dettori hailed Abdullah as “a true giant of the sport”.

He said: “He was a great of the sport. I had one of my early Group Ones aboard a horse he owned called Ryafan in the Prix Marcel Boussac, who was trained by John (Gosden).

“He was amazing and a true giant of the sport. You could go on naming all the great horses he has owned, but you would have to say Enable, Frankel and Dancing Brave are the three that stand out.

“Enable will always be the apple of my eye and the last time I saw him was when she won her second Arc.

“He was a real gentleman and he loved his horses. He was very passionate and knowledgeable about them and the results speak for themselves. What he has done for the whole industry is fantastic.

Frankel was unbeaten in 14 career starts
Frankel was unbeaten in 14 career starts (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

“Though Enable will always stand out to me, Frankel will always be the best horse that I’ve seen and have had to race against.

“I went to see Dancing Brave win the 2000 Guineas in 1986 – I wasn’t riding then and he was incredible. He was then beaten in that famous Derby before winning the King George and the Arc.

“I grew up in an era watching horses like Dancing Brave win and you were always very excited that one day you might get to wear those silks – ones that had been associated with such great success.”

Prince Khalid Abdullah – the founder of a racing legacy beyond equal

Khalid Abdullah provided the racing world with a platinum legacy as the owner-breeder of a string of equine greats including Enable and Frankel.

Through his breeding operation Juddmonte Farms, the Saudi prince was the driving force behind generations of many of the best horses to grace the turf.

Dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Enable and unbeaten superstar Frankel lit up the early 21st century, yet were following in the hoofprints of Rainbow Quest, Dancing Brave and Zafonic among a stellar list of mighty Juddmonte forebears.

Equine ancestry was always key for Abdullah, from his first steps into racing more than 40 years ago, as he built up a battalion not merely for the present, but long into the future through home-bred stallions and broodmares.

Khalid bin Abdullah Al Saud was born into Saudi Arabian royalty, in 1937, in the Middle East Kingdom’s Mecca Province.

His earliest association with the blue bloods of the turf, however, did not begin until many years later.

A spark was reportedly lit in the most appropriate of surroundings, given exploits to come, on a chance 1950s trip as a young man to Longchamp – home of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Europe’s premier middle-distance Flat prize.

Known Fact (right) won the 2000 Guineas in the stewards' room in 1980
Known Fact (right) won the 2000 Guineas in the stewards’ room in 1980 (PA)

Yet history records the first victory in his pink, green and white colours arrived only in May 1979 – courtesy of Charming Native and trainer Jeremy Tree at Windsor.

Major investment was already under way by then – in terms of bloodstock, with real estate to follow – and success at the highest level was swiftly achieved.

Known Fact had been bred for American dirt but put a new, expanding enterprise on the map with victory in the 1979 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket – returning the following spring to win the 2000 Guineas, after the disqualification of Nureyev who had passed the post first by a neck.

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No matter, the prince’s outlay was repaid – as it already had been for the first time at Royal Ascot a year earlier with Abeer’s success in the Queen Mary Stakes.

Significant milestones arrived on and off the track in 1982 – with the first home-bred winners and the founding of the Juddmonte banner.

Dancing Brave's exploits in 1986 set the bar high for Juddmonte
Dancing Brave’s exploits in 1986 set the bar high for Juddmonte (PA)

It was to take up residence in due course at renowned farms in Britain, Ireland and America, including Newmarket’s Banstead Manor Stud, home to its top European stallions.

Abdullah’s early racecourse successes were pioneering on behalf of several new fellow owner-breeders from the Middle East – including Sheikh Mohammed and Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, from the United Arab Emirates.

Coolmore, in Ireland and America, evolved as another powerful rival as a breeding ground for champions.

Juddmonte’s best were elite – and it was Dancing Brave who first set the bar with his remarkable deeds in 1986.

After his Guineas victory, he agonisingly failed to catch Shahrastani in the Derby – but following a brilliant performance in the Eclipse at Sandown, trainer Guy Harwood sent his colt to Ascot’s King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes to exact emphatic revenge for the Epsom near-miss.

That was little more than half the tale which culminated when Dancing Brave, ridden by Pat Eddery who had replaced injured Greville Starkey at Ascot, produced astonishing late acceleration to mow down the Arc field at Longchamp, mastering one of the best fields ever assembled in Paris.

Juddmonte therefore retained a title won the previous year in the stewards’ room by Rainbow Quest.

Throughout, Abdullah was a notably unassuming presence on the racecourse – allowing the splendid narratives around him to speak for themselves.

His varied, characterful trainers and brilliant racehorses ensured that task was duly fulfilled.

The unblemished career of Frankel was perhaps the finest example.

Frankel after his brilliant 2000 Guineas win, with his victorious connections - including jockey Tom Queally. owner Khalid Abdullan and trainer Sir Henry Cecil
Frankel after his brilliant 2000 Guineas win, with his victorious connections – including jockey Tom Queally, owner Khalid Abdullah and trainer Sir Henry Cecil (PA)

The son of Coolmore’s great sire Galileo was named after Abdullah’s former trainer, the great American Robert ‘Bobby’ Frankel, but was in the care of Sir Henry Cecil – ailing, much-admired doyen of the British ranks – and ridden by stable jockey Tom Queally.

It proved a prolific winning combination which entranced millions, especially after an astonishingly impressive 2000 Guineas victory in 2011 – one of 14 occasions in all, 10 at Group One level, when Frankel proved utterly superior.

When he did so on his penultimate start in the Juddmonte International at York – over his longest trip, 10 and a half furlongs – he pulled off another feat by prompting rare public expression from his owner at victory in the race he sponsored.

“It’s exceptional – I’ve never seen it like that,” Abdullah said in the winner’s enclosure, as he took in the universal goodwill of racegoers – none of whom could have got rich backing the 1-10 favourite.

Other superstars carried the Juddmonte mantle with great distinction.

Zafonic and Pat Eddery lead the field en route to victory in the 1993 2000 Guineas
Zafonic and Pat Eddery lead the field en route to victory in the 1993 2000 Guineas (Fiona Hanson/PA)

They included the mercurial Zafonic, victor in the 1993 Guineas and a brilliant juvenile for Andre Fabre, Commander In Chief – Cecil’s Derby winner in that same year – and late-maturing mare Midday, a six-time Group One heroine.

Arrogate was the most successful globetrotter of all, amassing earnings of over £13.5million largely thanks to his Dubai and Pegasus World Cup victories – flying the flag for his connections’ American base too with a 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic win.

Nonetheless Enable, trained by John Gosden and ridden to all her major triumphs by Frankie Dettori, is Juddmonte’s home-bred queen.

Queen of the turf Enable, with winning jockey Frankie Dettori, after their 2019 Yorkshire Oaks success
Queen of the turf Enable, with winning jockey Frankie Dettori, after their 2019 Yorkshire Oaks success (Nigel French/PA)

A three-time champion owner in Britain – with more than 100 individual top-level winners worldwide – Abdullah was verging on 80 before Enable burst onto the scene.

His homebred superstar racked up a 12-race unbeaten sequence, which took in the Oaks and four more Group Ones in 2017 – lastly in the Arc, displaced at Chantilly.

She did not lose again, including at the 2018 Breeders’ Cup, until runner-up to Waldgeist in the Longchamp mud when bidding for a record third Arc in 2019.

Enable’s brilliance and resilience has been a crowning glory, even by Juddmonte’s elite standards, and embodiment of its founder’s vision and ambition.

John Gosden claims third champion trainer title

John Gosden has been crowned champion Flat trainer for the third year running and fifth time in all.

The Newmarket handler has amassed £3,114,226 in prize money in the calendar year – more than £650,000 ahead of six-time winner, Aidan O’Brien.

“I would like to thank all of my staff for all of their endeavours in this most difficult of years,” Gosden told Great British Racing.

“My thanks to our owners, who have been so supportive, and to the whole racing industry for pulling together so effectively.”

Among his 149 winners this year, Gosden enjoyed seven British Group One triumphs including a record third King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes with Enable and a third successive Ascot Gold Cup and a fourth Goodwood Cup with Stradivarius.

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The 69-year-old trainer also claimed two Group One victories with Nazeef in the Falmouth Stakes and the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes for champion owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.

Those big-race wins helped Sheikh Hamdan take that crown by £217,000 from Godolphin, with total prize money of £2,309,194 in the championship decided from June 1 to December 31 as a result of the pandemic.

Sheikh Hamdan’s racing manager Angus Gold said: “To win the champion owner title is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved, it’s what we all work hard for and strive to achieve. It’s been a difficult year for everyone, but we have been blessed on the track this year with some amazing horses.

“While it was sad for Sheikh Hamdan not being able to come over to the likes of Royal Ascot to see them in the flesh, he is incredibly enthusiastic – and winning the champion owner title means the world to him and all the team.”

Sheikh Hamdan recorded 112 victories in total this year, with other stars of the show being Battaash and his Sussex Stakes hero Mohaather.

Ben Curtis claimed the 2020 annual Flat jockeys’ title with a total of 170 victories during the year.

“Given the lockdown in March, I set out to pass the 100 winners mark – so to have surpassed that along with the many other talented jockeys in the weighing room at the moment, such as Hollie (Doyle) and Tom (Marquand), is a great achievement,” he said.

“For us to have reached those figures, all things considered, is fantastic for British racing.”

Curtis enjoyed three Group successes in June, the Pavilion and Sagaro Stakes at Newcastle with Dubai Station and Nayef Road respectively, before having his first Royal Ascot winner with Dandalla in the Albany Stakes.

“The standout win of the year for me has to be the Royal Ascot victory,” he added.

“To ride in those races and on those occasions is one of the main reasons I moved over to England in the first place, so to have got my first Royal Ascot win this year was a special moment.”

Gosden heads Newmarket team as Racing League sides are announced

John Gosden is combining with three fellow Newmarket trainers as one of the 12 teams in the Racing League competition – which launches next summer.

This year’s champion Flat trainer will join forces with Sir Mark Prescott, Robert Cowell and David Simcock in the new initiative which will see the dozen teams compete across 36 races over six weeks at Newcastle, Doncaster, Lingfield and Windsor.

Each event will be worth £50,000, with prize money totalling £1.8 million for the series, which will run from July 29 until September 2, 2021.

There is another Newmarket team of Michael Bell, Ed Dunlop, James Fanshawe and Roger Varian, making three in all after the first six squads were announced two weeks ago.

In the remaining six teams announced on Tuesday, Lambourn will be represented by Clive Cox, Nicky Henderson, Charlie Hills and Jamie Osborne.

Rutland trainer Mick Appleby will join northern-based Michael Dods, David O’Meara and Paul Midgley – while Mick Channon is partnering with Paul and Oliver Cole, Eve Johnston Houghton and Hughie Morrison for an additional southern-based team.

French handlers Philippe Decouz, Gavin Hernon and Edouard Monfort will combine to add to the Irish challenge of brothers Donnacha and Joseph O’Brien announced in the first batch of six.

Jeremy Wray, Racing League’s chief executive said: “We are really pleased to have such an illustrious group of trainers forming the 12 teams and are delighted to be adding an international flavour with the teams from Ireland and France.

“The next step will be for each team to select their three jockeys.”

Uncle Bryn continues progression at Wolverhampton

Uncle Bryn is a general 20-1 shot for next year’s Derby after maintaining his unbeaten record with a dominant display at Wolverhampton.

The son of Sea The Stars made a big impression on his racecourse introduction at the start of September, and was the 2-9 favourite to follow up in the Ladbrokes Watch Racing Online For Free EBF Novice Stakes at Dunstall Park.

Ridden by Robert Havlin, Uncle Bryn was sent straight to the lead and the further he went the better he looked – kicking clear under just hand driving in the straight for a four-and-a-quarter-length success over Jaramillo.

Thady Gosden, assistant to his father, said: “We’re very happy with him. He was obviously carrying a penalty and he’s still a little bit green, with it being only his second start, but he did it impressively.

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“There’s a bit of speed in his pedigree, so he’ll probably start off over a mile an a quarter next year and we’ll see whether he wants to step up to a mile and a half or not.”

Havlin was similarly impressing, telling Sky Sports Racing: “He was still a bit green in front and a bit raw – he’s very much a baby.

“Because of the size of him and letting him develop, we’ve had to ease off at certain times of his progression, so he hasn’t had the schooling that everything else has had.

“He’ll have learnt plenty today. He’s a nice type going forward and he’s going to strengthen up in the winter.”

Jack Hobbs (left) chases home Golden Horn in the Derby at Epsom
Jack Hobbs (left) chases home Golden Horn in the Derby at Epsom (PA)

Gosden is not afraid to run a high-class prospect at Wolverhampton, with the promising Waldkonig making a winning debut at the track last year and, even more notably, Jack Hobbs doing so in 2014.

The latter went on to chase home esteemed stablemate Golden Horn in the Dante at York and the Derby at Epsom, before winning the Irish Derby and later the Dubai Sheema Classic.

“It’s good to get one or two runs into them at this time of year if you can, for a bit of education,” Thady Gosden added.

Gosden and Havlin were denied a Wolverhampton double, with 4-6 favourite Alexej proving no match for Saeed bin Suroor’s newcomer Silent Escape (100-30) in the Bombardier British Hopped Amber Beer Novice Stakes, with Hector Crouch the winning rider.

Crouch said: “She was a bit sharper than I was expecting her to be. She travelled very nicely and showed a nice, sharp turn of foot.

“She’s still very green and will improve a lot.”

Gosden and Dettori seeking Global dominance in Bahrain

John Gosden and Frankie Dettori can look forward plenty of local support when they team up with Global Giant in the Bahrain International Trophy on Friday.

Bought primarily with this race in mind out of Ed Dunlop’s yard by Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa – a driving force behind the event – the five-year-old has won two of his four starts for current connections.

A Listed winner in July, the Shamardal entire was bogged down by heavy ground at Haydock in a Group Three last time out.

Assistant trainer Thady Gosden said: “Global Giant was purchased by HH Shaikh Isa and Jake Warren with this race in mind.

“He won the Listed Steventon Stakes at Newbury before unfortunately encountering unsuitably soft ground at Haydock on his last start. Ideally, we’d have had a prep race before this, but the ground went at the end of the season, so we thought the best thing to do was to leave him and bring him here fresh.

“His work here has been good. The turf track here is world class and he’s enjoyed the faster ground. We are drawn five which we are happy about. They say the inside of the track is where you want to be.”

“It would be wonderful to win the race for His Highness Shaikh Isa, this race was his brainchild so it would mean a lot to him.”

Aidan O’Brien has his first runner in Bahrain in the shape of last year’s Irish Derby winner Sovereign.

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He was last seen running over two miles on Champions Day at Ascot.

“I don’t think he ran too bad at Ascot, he just got tired late on,” said O’Brien.

“He seems in good form since and he should like the ground.

“This is 10 furlongs so we’ll find out a lot, he’s in good order. He’s going there quite a fresh horse and he’s lightly raced. It looks a very good track and everyone is very positive about it.”

Andrew Balding’s Bangkok ran in the Derby last year and was second in the King Edward VII Stakes, but he has not been seen since finishing last in the Eclipse to Ghaiyyath due to injury.

“He had two tough assignments in the UK this year in very strong Group Ones. He actually ran quite well in the Coral-Eclipse and wasn’t beaten far by six very high-class horses,” said Balding.

“He threw a splint which is quite a common injury, but less common with older horses like him. He was very sore, and we had to give him plenty of time, but we’ve been very happy with him since he came back into training. He’s coming here pretty much match fit.

“This race has been the target ever since we realised that we’d have to sit out the bulk of the summer season at home. We ran Pivoine here for King Power (owners). I’d say Bangkok is probably a cut above Pivoine but he’ll need to be.”

Mick Channon’s Certain Lad was unplaced under a big weight in the Cambridgeshire last time out but prior to that had won the Strensall Stakes at York.

Assistant trainer Jack Channon said: “We’re very happy with him. He’s a very good traveller who takes it all in his stride. He’s been very relaxed since he came over and has eaten and trained well since he got off the plane.

“You’d have to say his performance in the Strensall was a career best, he beat some nice horses that day and we’re hoping he can keep progressing from there.

“To win the Bahrain International Trophy would be fantastic. We all know that money talks and it helps to run the business. Chris (Hurst, owner) has been a great supporter of ours and has quite a few horses in training and to be able to have a go at pots like this can really help people like him stay in the game.”

Hollie Doyle teams up with the Japanese star Deirdre in what is set to be her final run before retirement.

The daughter of Harbinger has campaigned almost exclusively in Europe for the past two years and has a Group One win at Goodwood to show for her efforts, but has been bogged down by soft ground on more than one occasion.

Assistant trainer Yoshi Hashida said: “Her condition going into the Arc was perfect, but the heavy ground went against her. The French horses coped with it better.

“Her two Group One wins came on right-handed tracks at Kyoto and Goodwood. The long straight at Sakhir will suit her. The track looks very fair and we like the firm ground that we will get. We are very excited to take part in the race.”

Deirdre has been ridden by Oisin Murphy and latterly Jamie Spencer but Hashida is excited at linking up with Doyle, who has enjoyed a stellar season.

“We’ve seen that Hollie Doyle is one of the best jockeys in Britain this season,” he said.

“Deirdre is now six and she is a very clever horse, we need something fresh to energise her and that is why we feel that Hollie is an ideal jockey for her. We have found that when a female work rider rides her, that suits her better.

“Mitsuru (Hashida) has said that this will likely be Deirdre’s last race. We are emotional that this journey is almost over.”

O’Brien hunting seventh Turf triumph with Magical and Mogul

Magical and Mogul give Aidan O’Brien a formidable hand as he goes in search of a seventh victory in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf.

It is 18 years since High Chaparral provided the Ballydoyle handler with his first triumph in the mile-and-a-half contest. Twelve months later, the same horse dead-heated with Johar in an epic finish.

O’Brien has since added to his tally with St Nicholas Abbey (2011), Magician (2013), Found (2015) and Highland Reel (2016) and appears to have an excellent chance of adding to his tally at Keeneland on Saturday.

Magical has previous at the Breeders’ Cup, having pushed the great Enable to three-quarters of a length in this race two years ago.

She was set to be retired after winning last year’s Champion Stakes at Ascot, but returned for another campaign and has won another three Group Ones to take her top-level total to seven. She finished third when defending her Champion Stakes crown three weeks ago.

“Magical was going to go to No Nay Never, but at the start of the year the lads had a chat. We said how well she had done over the winter – physically she really changed – and we felt it was worth letting her have another year,” said O’Brien.

“We’re delighted we made that decision. We felt it was right as she was sound and her mind was very good.

“We started to race early in the year and she went from race to race. She’s an amazing filly and we’re lucky to have her.”

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Stablemate Mogul has not been seen in competitive action since running out an impressive winner of the Grand Prix de Paris in September, having since missed an intended outing in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe due to a well documented issue with contaminated feed.

“He’s in good form. Obviously, he’s had a busy year. I suppose his last run was his most impressive when he won the Grand Prix de Paris on a bit of nice ground,” O’Brien added.

“He travelled very well, quickened well and we were pleased with how he came out of the race.”

Dual Group One-winning filly Tarnawa bids to provide Dermot Weld with his very first Breeders’ Cup success.

Tarnawa (left) represents Dermot Weld
Tarnawa (left) represents Dermot Weld (Niall Carson/PA)

The Prix Vermeille and Prix de l’Opera heroine also had the option of running in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, but instead takes on the boys in the longer of the two races.

She will be ridden by Colin Keane, because intended partner Christophe Soumillon was ruled out on Friday after testing positive for Covid-19.

Weld said: “She’s equally as effective over 10 furlongs and a mile and a half.

“I think she’s very tough, sound and genuine, so is well suited to the Breeders’ Cup. Most importantly, she’s a stayer with speed.

“I think in this difficult year, great credit must be given to the Breeders’ Cup for their organisation and help and their ability to put on the fixture. They really need great credit for what they’re achieving.”

Lord North wins at Royal Ascot
Lord North wins at Royal Ascot (Megan Ridgwell/PA)

Enable’s trainer John Gosden is this year represented by Lord North and Mehdaayih.

Lord North won the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot earlier in the summer, but finished tailed off on his return to the Berkshire circuit for last month’s Champion Stakes.

Mehdaayih, meanwhile, has raced just twice in 2020 thus far, most recently finishing fourth in Ascot’s Qipco British Champions Fillies And Mares Stakes.

“The Champion Stakes was unfortunately run on a quagmire, which wasn’t a lot of help to Lord North nor Magical,” said Gosden.

“We’d had record rain in October, so both with the Arc in Paris and on Champions Day at Ascot, you were running in the deepest ground I’ve ever seen. It was drying out ground, which becomes very sticky and gluey.

“Prior to that Lord North ran a lovely race to finish third in the Juddmonte International at York, having previously won the Prince of Wales, and we’re looking forward to running him here.

“Mehdaayih ripped her back when she ran in the Prince of Wales’s (finished sixth), so she had a long time off and we only just managed to get her back for Champions Day.”

Audarya flies the flag for Fanshawe at Breeders’ Cup

James Fanshawe is relishing the prospect of sending out his first Breeders’ Cup runner when Audarya contests Saturday’s Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf.

The daughter of Wootton Bassett was winning a handicap on the all-weather at Newcastle as recently as early August, but has made huge progress since by claiming a surprise Group One win in the Prix Jean Romanet before finishing a close third in the Prix de l’Opera.

Fanshawe is well aware of the task facing his charge in America, but is adamant she is not there just to make up the numbers.

He said: “It’s a very different track to what she’s been racing on – it’s round two bends and much tighter.

“She’s a very well balanced filly, so I don’t think that will be a problem, and what will suit her is a truly-run race.

“At this time of year you’re just hoping your filly is in the same form as she has been for her last two races, as you’re going into the winter and some thrive and some start to hibernate.

“She seems well and is showing no signs of that. I hope she’ll run a very big race.”

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British hopes are also carried by John Gosden’s Terebellum.

Impressive in the Group Two Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket in early June, the Godolphin-owned four-year-old was subsequently narrowly denied Group One glory in both the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot and the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.

However, she could finish only fifth on her latest appearance in the Sun Chariot.

Gosden said: “It was very, very soft ground for Newmarket in the Sun Chariot. They seldom called it heavy and that was the description they were giving on the day.

“She found that a little bit too testing. Like most horses, she likes what we call good ground.”

Aidan O’Brien’s Peaceful and Cayenne Pepper, from Jessica Harrington’s yard, represent Ireland.

Following three successive runner-up finishes, Cayenne Pepper ran out an impressive winner of the Group Two Blandford Stakes at the Curragh in September.

“I think it probably was a career-best last time,” said Harrington.

“I was convinced she was a mile-and-a-half filly, but in the Irish Oaks and in the race at Cork (Give Thanks Stakes), she was in front until the last half-furlong and got run out of it.

“Bringing her back in trip for the Blandford, and winning it like she did, I really was absolutely delighted with her.”

Kevin Ryan is looking forward to saddling Glass Slippers
Kevin Ryan is looking forward to saddling Glass Slippers (PA)

Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup action gets under way with the Filly & Mare Sprint, for which Bob Baffert’s Gamine is the likely favourite.

The following race is the Turf Sprint, in which Kevin Ryan is set to saddle dual Group One-winning filly Glass Slippers, who was last seen finishing second when bidding for back-to-back wins in the Prix de l’Abbaye.

Ryan said: “She’s a top-class filly and the Breeders’ Cup is a very important meeting – it’s nice to have a filly that is good enough to run there.

“She comes out of her races very well – she’s very tough and genuine.

“She’s one of the best I’ve trained. She’s just been a very progressive filly who has kept on improving and I’m very privileged to have her to train.”

Chad Brown’s Complexity and the Brad Cox-trained Knicks Go are among the leading contenders for the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, while George Weaver’s Vekoma and Steven Asmussen’s unbeaten colt Yaupon lock horns in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Cox’s Monomoy Girl is a hot favourite for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, ahead of Kenny McPeek’s Swiss Skydiver.