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Megallan on top in Burradon Stakes

John and Thady Gosden’s impressive start to their new arrangement was given another boost by the victory of Megallan in the Listed Burradon Stakes at Newcastle.

Highly tried after winning on his debut last season, Megallan ended his campaign in the Futurity Trophy at Doncaster.

He got bogged down in the heavy ground on that occasion, but was better judged on his fourth to One Ruler in the Autumn Stakes – and the Gosdens are clearly keen to crack on with him this year.

Out early for the Spring Cup over an inadequate seven furlongs at Lingfield where he was a fast-finishing second, he was back over a straight mile on the Tapeta this time.

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His presence scared plenty of the potential opposition away – with only three taking him on, but they included Roger Varian’s lightly-raced Legion Of Honour.

The pair had it between themselves for the last two furlongs – and while Andrea Atzeni briefly looked to be going better on Legion Of Honour, Megallan’s depth of experience told close home.

Robert Havlin always looked as if he held the upper hand, and in the final 100 yards Megallan (4-6 favourite) began to pull away to win by half-a-length.

Havlin said: “He ran over seven (furlongs) at Lingfield – which we knew was going to be a bit sharp for him, but it sharpened him up mentally.

“That showed today, and I think you have to give him a lot of credit.

“Last year he was a bit too keen in heavy ground at Doncaster in the Futurity Trophy, but I think he’s grown up a lot. I ride him a bit myself at home, and he’s come on a lot.

“I think he’s better than this (class). It was a good old ding-dong battle with the second, but he was going away at the line.

“I wouldn’t rule him out going over a mile-and-a-quarter later in the season, because his mind is much better now – he used to be really racy.

“He might end up in something like the Feilden Stakes at Newmarket over a mile-and-one (furlong) – that could be an option.”

Paddy Power cut the winner to 20-1 from 33-1 for the 2000 Guineas, while the runner-up is now 25-1 from 50-1.

Mishriff and Lord North thrill Gosden on day to remember

Mishriff and Lord North are to be freshened up for major engagements this summer after they headlined a super Saturday for John and Thady Gosden on their first weekend with a joint licence.

The father and son team not only scooped two of the top prizes at Meydan, but took the Lincoln at Doncaster with Haqeeqy and had a double at Kempton through Otyrar and Global Giant.

The two heads of Clarehaven Stables in Newmarket had the perfect lift-off on Friday when Regent, their first official runner together, won at Lingfield.

Gosden reflected on a remarkable Saturday.

Mishriff proved his class in the Dubai Sheema Classic
Mishriff proved his class in the Dubai Sheema Classic (Dubai Racing Club/Mathea Kelley)

“It was an extraordinary day. A tremendous amount of work and planning had gone into it with all our team here at Clarehaven Stables and sometimes it comes off,” he told Racing TV’s Luck On Sunday programme.

He was delighted with the two high-profile winners in Meydan, where Lord North took the Dubai Turf and Mishriff backed up his Saudi Cup triumph in the Dubai Sheema Classic.

“Lord North showed his class. In the Prince of Wales’s Stakes last year he scooted away from them. He’s a grand horse with a wonderful attitude,” said Gosden.

“I think he’ll go back for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes again (at Royal Ascot). We’ll freshen him up now for the summer.”

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Mishriff could be set for a busy summer campaign, after a well-deserved break.

Lord North was brilliant in the Dubai Turf
Lord North was brilliant in the Dubai Turf (Mathea Kelley/Dubai Racing Club)

“I will discuss it with Prince Faisal, but it was always the plan to see if he could be an Arc horse and I think he proved he gets the mile and a half,” said Gosden.

“They went quick to the bend, then they slowed it up and he finished well, so I think he’ll freshen for the summer.

“My feeling would be races like the Eclipse, the Juddmonte International, the Arc and the King George. Those are the races to be looking at and seeing where we are at the time.

“That’s a long way off. He deserves a pretty good holiday.”

However, Gosden is not keen on going for the Breeders’ Cup Classic on dirt in Del Mar as he feels the course would not suit Mishriff.

“Having had a lot of success at Del Mar over the years I do know that straight very well and I always feel they should pick up the finishing wire and move it another 100 yards down,” he said.

“It’s a very short straight and a different style of racing. You’ve got to have real tactical speed and you ping off the bend. This is a horse who enjoys the length of the straight. I don’t think it’s going to suit him.”

Young apprentice Benoit De La Sayette shone aboard Haqeeqy in the Lincoln
Young apprentice Benoit De La Sayette shone aboard Haqeeqy in the Lincoln (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Closer to home, a new star was born when 7lb-claiming apprentice Benoit De La Sayette, 18, partnered Haqeeqy to an emotional victory in the Unibet Lincoln at Doncaster in the colours of Hissa Hamdan Al Maktoum, daughter of Shekih Hamdan who died earlier in the week.

“Frankie Dettori is a friend of the De La Sayette family and it was he who asked if their son could join the Clarehaven team. It evolved through Frankie and his father being good friends,” said Gosden.

“Frankie asked if he could come to us and he’s a pleasure to work with. He’s work riding and he’s been with us some time riding during school holidays. He’s exceptionally talented.

“I don’t like to see apprentices rushed. We’ll try to manage it very carefully and do what’s right and prudent for a young jockey who’s hopefully got a long career ahead of him, but he certainly won’t be riding left, right and centre every day and burning himself out by August.

“His parents have been so much part of this They have taken him to England, France, pony racing. They taught him everything. He’s just a natural.”

Thady Gosden was on duty for the team in Dubai and is jetting to Florida with a view to adding to the stable.

Thady Gosden is a key part of the training operation with his father
Thady Gosden is a key part of the training operation with his father (Julian Finney/PA)

“He’s going to Florida for the two-year-olds in training sales,” said Gosden senior.

“He’s going to look at some horses at the sales here there. He says he’s got a client. Who knows, he’ll be taking over soon.

“You couldn’t have choreographed it. It was meant to be January 1, but with the modules that got put behind by Covid so it’s happened by the beginning of the turf season which is great.

“We didn’t quite plan this. It came to fruition, but if we had won of those races we’d have been overjoyed. They are very hard to win.”

Magical Mishriff digs deep in Sheema Classic

Mishriff delivered another brilliant performance to win the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan.

John Gosden’s colt, already a winner of the world’s richest race in the Saudi Cup at Riyadh last month, displayed versatility as well as the highest class by switching back to turf here and winning on his first attempt at a mile and a half.

Mishriff had to do it the hard way too, challenging down the outside after being last of the nine-strong field exiting the back straight, and then proving his stamina as well as his acceleration to hold off two Japanese challengers Chrono Genesis and Loves Only You in a driving finish.

For Gosden, and son Thady who now shares their British trainer’s licence, it was a second big win in under an hour on the Dubai World Cup card – following Lord North’s success in the Turf.

Mishriff, who won at 4-1, had a neck to spare from Chrono Genesis at the line, with Loves Only You and Oisin Murphy another neck back in third.

Gosden junior was quick to pay tribute to winning rider David Egan.

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He said: “They were two absolutely flawless rides (here and Saudi) from David – brilliant.

“It sounds sycophantic when you’re sitting next to him. But he obviously made a decision, when he didn’t break as well from that draw, to drop him in. You have to have a pretty cool head to be able to do that in that race.

“Over a mile and a half for the first time, if you try to send him to the lead to get him up there, there’s a pretty significant risk you’re going to end up setting him alight – and the race would be over before it really started.

“So David obviously made the correct decision to drop him in and switch him off and strike when he did.

“He’s a very versatile horse, and a brilliant and tough horse as well – and he definitely wasn’t for beating today.

“We’ll take him home and see how he is, and he’ll tell us what he’d like to do in the very near future.”

Put to him that the yard is in great form since the training link with this father was made official, Gosden smiled: “It’s a wonderful start.

“I think I’ll probably have to retire now!”

Egan is enjoying every moment with the Prince Faisal-owned Mishriff.

He said: “I was able to get a pitch at the back of the pack. I didn’t bounce him out of the gates, like I did in Saudi. I did more of the complete opposite – I was very relaxed going out.

“He jumped slowly, which was ideal, and I was able to slot across and have someone on my inside and get a smooth run up the middle of the track.

“He showed a good turn of foot to cruise up there from that position. I thought he was really tough in the last 100 yards – another horse could have easily thrown in the towel. He showed a lot of grit and just about got the mile and a half.”

He added: “I’m just thankful to everyone around me for putting me in the position to be able to ride such a champion in Mishriff.

“He’s so versatile – he can run over any trip on any surface. Any trip for Mishriff, he’s taken it all in his stride. So we’ll take on any trip, and any horse.

“Coming off the Saudi Cup win, maybe some would say the pressure was more immense (for me) – because he had more of a chance and he’s stepping up against top-class horses here.

“But I felt pretty cool – which I probably needed to be, to get him to relax and switch off in the first half of the race.”

Lord North rules for Dettori in Dubai Turf

John Gosden’s Lord North produced an irresistible surge down the outside to deliver a famous victory for Frankie Dettori in the Dubai Turf.

Lord North, an impressive winner of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot in the summer, struck from well off the pace but was dominant in the final furlong of the Meydan straight.

Dettori, riding ostensibly for the new joint licence holders of Gosden and his son Thady but with the former’s name exclusively on the racecard as trainer in Dubai, was content to sit well behind the lead early on.

Once he asked Lord North to pick up the pacesetters, it was game over – and the 6-4 favourite was three lengths clear at the line, from Japan’s Vin De Garde, with Felix staying on into third for Oisin Murphy and Newmarket trainer Marco Botti.

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Dettori said: “It was a nice pace. I followed William’s horse (William Buick, on Al Suhail). I had plenty of horse, and I know he stays really well.

“So I kicked him early, and he flew. I didn’t do much else after that – he did the rest.

“He was a handful in the early days, so he was gelded. He’s much more focused now, and he’s done nothing wrong.

“He’s a horse to go to war with in all the big races this year. Let’s try the Prince of Wales’s again … but I’m sure Mr Gosden will have a plan, and we’ll have lots of fun.”

The Italian added of his successful spell back in Dubai during the winter: “It’s not been so bad, has it?

“I love it – coming back to where I started years ago. Twenty-five years of the World Cup, and I think I’ve been at most of them – they have been tremendous memories.

“Long may it continue.”

Thady Gosden said: “He ran very, very well over a mile and a half (in the Breeders’ Cup Turf). (But) the drop down in trip definitely helped him.

“He was ridden similarly to Mishriff, sitting out the back and sent round the bend – and he picked up very well in the straight.

“He showed plenty of speed. As he’s got older, he’s got stronger, and he was fresh and well over here. He really loves his racing – you can see that enthusiasm when he attacks the ground.

“We’ll get him home and see how he takes the race. There’s a little bit of time to Royal Ascot still – so depending on what he tells us, he could have a run before or go straight to something like the Prince of Wales’s.

John and Thady Gosden team up to share training licence

Thady Gosden is looking forward to “exciting times” ahead after confirming he is set to hold a joint-licence with his father and multiple champion trainer John from the start of the new Flat turf season.

The father-and-son team will become the highest-profile partnership yet, since joint-licence arrangements were introduced last year.

Among those to have joined forces already are two other father-and-son partnerships in Simon and Ed Crisford and Paul and Oliver Cole – who consolidated their new licence quickly with a piece of turf history when they triumphed at Royal Ascot with Highland Chief.

The Gosdens’ new licence should be officially in place by the end of this month, with British Horseracing Authority administration expected to be complete in time for the start of the new season at Doncaster on March 27.

Mishriff is one of the superstars at the Gosden yard in Newmarket
Mishriff is one of the superstars at the Gosden yard in Newmarket (Edward Whitaker/PA)

Thady Gosden said: “It’s exciting times, definitely.

“The plan was to have it done a little bit earlier, but it’s taken slightly longer than we previously thought – getting all the paperwork in place.”

He is a regular on-course representative already for his father’s famous Clarehaven yard in Newmarket, as assistant trainer – including in Riyadh last month when Mishriff won the world’s richest race, the Saudi Cup.

Gosden, trainer of a string of equine superstars such as dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine Enable over the past decade, won his latest trainers’ title in 2020.

He will be 70 this month, but his son said: “Things aren’t going to change dramatically.

“We’ll carry on as we are mostly, but it’s good to have it in place for the season coming up.”