Arc or Champion dilemma as Mishriff rewards Dettori decision to ride in France

Sat 15 Aug 2020

Mishriff backed up his French Derby success with a comfortable victory in the Prix Guillaume D’Ornano at Deauville.

The John Gosden-trained colt justified jockey Frankie Dettori’s decision to cross the Channel and miss riding at York next week, as a result of new quarantine regulations regarding travel from France.

Mishriff took on the horses who were second and third behind him in the Prix du Jockey Club in The Summit and Victor Ludorum – but the outcome was more emphatic this time.

Only four went to post for the Group Two contest over a mile and a quarter – worth £135,000 to the winner – following the late defection of Crossfirehurricane, with The Summit setting the early pace until Dream Works took over, with Dettori keeping Mishriff handy.

 Dettori celebrates his win on Mishriffin trademark fashion (Focusonracing)
Dettori celebrates his win on Mishriffin trademark fashion (Focusonracing)

He moved up to challenge in the straight and Mishriff quickened nicely to put the race to bed. The 8-11 favourite drew clear to win by four and a half lengths from The Summit, with Victor Ludorum a head away in third.

Mishriff was cut to 12-1 from 16s for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with Paddy Power and Betfair.

Dettori told Sky Sports Racing: “He’s a horse that likes soft ground. He finished his race strong in the Jockey Club, so at the 600 (metres) I said ‘come and catch me if you can’.

“Obviously there were question marks about the Andre Fabre horse (Victor Ludorum) about the distance and the ground, so I made sure it was a true test and he came out on top.

“He’s got to be entered in all the big races – the Champion Stakes, the Arc – everything. It’s nice proving he is a very good horse. I think the horse will stay (a mile and a half). At the moment, a mile and a quarter is the perfect distance.

“It’s up to the connections and John Gosden to decide. He’s a horse that has not run much, so there’s a possibility he might stay in training. So far so good, he’s done nothing wrong.”

Dettori reflected on his decision to miss York and ride not only Mishriff, but also Palace Pier in the Prix Jacques le Marois on Sunday – while he confirmed he will stay in France for a week to ride Campanelle for Wesley Ward in the Prix Morny next Sunday.

He said: “Myself and John discussed long and hard. Mishriff won the Jockey Club and Palace Pier won the St James’s Palace Stakes. They are two stable stars and I decided to swallow the quarantine and come here and take my chance. At least half the job is done. Let’s hope we can get the other half done.

“For elite sportsmen they have changed the quarantine rule from 14 to eight days, so I am prolonging my stay in Deauville to ride next weekend. There’s nothing to rush back for at home at the moment and it’s not a bad place to spend a week.

“I think I’ll have some chill out time and there are also some good races on Saturday, so I’m going to keep an eye on the entries and maybe get some rides on Saturday as well.”

One of Dettori’s big rides coming up domestically when he does return will be Enable when she has her prep run for the Arc at Kempton on September 5.

Ted Voute, racing manager to owner Prince Faisal, was thrilled with the performance of Mishriff and outlined that a discussion will take place on whether the son of Make Believe is aimed at the Champion Stakes or Arc.

He said: “He looks like the champion three-year-old colt at the moment. It was great. It was a good job Frankie went over - he's a master tactician and looking at the race he was trying to find all the best ground, as they all did, and he was the best on the day.

“We are pleased and the Prince is absolutely delighted."

He addedn: “We haven't talked about anything in the future, but the race to consider would logically be the Champion Stakes at Ascot. I don't think we'd go to Ireland. He's done some travelling, so it would be nice to win a Group One on his homeland.

“He's a big, scopey horse. We've not talked about his four-year-old career yet. Everything is up in the air and is all to be decided between the Prince and John.

“He's not in the Arc, we'd have to supplement and we've got the prize-money now to be able to do that. I think a serious conversation will happen between the Prince and John. They will decide at the appropriate time whether to do that or go for the Champion Stakes.

“We've touched on it already and we've just got to wait for the dust to settle. John's the master and the Prince is an experienced owner. They will thrash out the next spot for him.”

Skalleti edged out Sottsass to take the Group Three Prix Gontaut-Biron Hong Kong Jockey Club on the same card.

Trained in Marseille by Jerome Reynier, the five-year-old gelding just came out on top by a neck in the hands of Pierre-Charles Boudot, following a battle through the final furlong. The stewards called an inquiry, but the placings were allowed to stand.

“He’s a lovely horse. He’s a swimming horse – he loves the soft ground,” Boudot told Sky Sports Racing. “He is better on soft or heavy. Today it is very deep. We had an allowance and he did it well. He was courageous.

“His proper distance is 2000 metres. The mile is a bit short for him. I don’t know which target will be the next. His owner and trainer will see, but the Champion Stakes will be OK for him.”

He added: “The inquiry was nothing special. Sottsass has come a bit with me but no worries.”

Sottsass was pushed out to 16-1 from 12-1 for the Arc with Paddy Power. As a gelding, Skalleti is not qualified.

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