GOSDEN DUO POISED WITH BIG GUNS FOR WELCOME TO YORKSHIRE EBOR FESTIVAL
TOP training combination John and Thady Gosden will bring a clutch of star names to York this week, starting with Mishriff in tomorrow’s Juddmonte International Stakes.
Mishriff currently heads the market for the £1million Group 1 race, in which he will compete against fellow aces, Love and Alcohol Free, among others.
The four-year-old has already had a fine 2021 campaign with lucrative victories in the Saudi Cup and the Dubai Sheema Classic. Last time out he again ran another cracking race, finishing second to Derby hero, Adayar, in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
Reigning champion trainer John Gosden said: “I was very happy with his King George run. Obviously, what he achieved earlier in the year was considerable, to say the least.
“We’ve very much been targeting the Juddmonte. The slightly extended mile and a quarter, we feel that’s his best trip. We’ve been happy with him since the King George and we’ll obviously see how it goes. The race has changed a little bit in complexion, but we’re pleased to be going where we planned for a long time.”
Clarehaven Stables will have a further Group 1 runner in the shape of Loving Dream, who will contest the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on Thursday.
The Lordship Stud homebred took out the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot in June and her latest assignment will see her competing at the top level for the first time.
Gosden assessed: “She has won a Group 2 and it’s only fair for the filly to run in Group 1s. We’re perfectly aware of the quality of the field. But she has done nothing wrong in her career. She’s a very genuine filly and it’s nice to run in a Group 1 rather than carrying a penalty elsewhere. And we’ll be hoping for a bold effort from her.”
Friday will see top-class stayer Stradivarius try to secure a third victory in the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup. He has won the two-mile Group 2 on two previous occasions. Gosden is hoping the rain steers clear of the Knavesmire after withdrawing Stradivarius from the Goodwood Cup due to the soft going.
Gosden said: “We’re going to York, a track he knows well, on ground he likes. The weather forecast looks promising. He’s in great form. We’re very aware that he’s not as young as he used to be but then neither is the trainer or the jockey!”
All three of the above races form a leg in their respective QIPCO British Champions Series categories.
Gosden has left Humanitarian and Grand Bazaar in the Sky Bet Ebor – the £500,000 centrepiece of Saturday, although it is touch and go whether the latter, rated 100, will make the cut for the richest flat handicap in Europe.
Gosden said: “Humanitarian gets in, I don’t think Grand Bazaar does, is the way I feel at the moment. Humanitarian has been off for a long time. He sustained an injury last back-end, but he has been in good form and we thought we’d just go straight for it. He’s full of the joys of life and working nicely. He might race a little fresh, but it’s a big field to get tucked away in.”
There will be plenty of other horses travelling from Clarehaven Stables in Newmarket up the A1 to York this week. Gosden also mentioned that recent Kempton novice winner, Pennymoor, is set for a rise in class on Thursday when she’ll perform in the British EBF & Sir Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes (Listed). And on the same card Star Of Emaraaty will race over her favoured seven-furlong trip in the British Stallion Studs EBF Fillies’ Handicap. The Gosdens will also be represented by possibly more than one horse in Saturday’s Sky Bet Melrose Handicap with Imperial Sun, First Light and Marshall Plan all given an entry.
Gosden added: “There’s no doubt in our minds that we regard Royal Ascot and the Ebor meeting as the big meetings of the English summer. I know there’s Goodwood as well, but this is a wonderful meeting.
“Probably what I like most about it is the extraordinarily passionate but also very knowledgeable crowds you get at York. When you talk to people there, they know the pedigrees of the horses better than yourself!
“They really know their horses and their racing and that’s something I’ve always found quite unique and really rather fulfilling about going to the meeting.”
The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival runs from Wednesday 18 August until Saturday 21 August inclusively.
For tickets please call 01904 620911 x 225 or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk