Mishriff "even stronger" as he prepares to defend Saudi Cup

Saudi Cup holder Mishriff is reported to be “even stronger” than last season as he prepares for the defence of his title in Riyadh next month.

Trained by John and Thady Gosden, the five-year-old beat Bob Baffert-trained Charlatan by a length in the world's richest race, 11-months ago.

Third to St Mark's Basilica in the Eclipse at Sandown in July, he then finished runner-up to Adayar in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, before routing his field in the Juddmonte International at York in August.

The slower ground appeared to be against him back at Ascot as his 2021 campaign ended with a fourth behind Sealiway in the Champion Stakes.

Now a return to Saudi Arabia is imminent for the five-year-old, who is currently the second-favourite for the hugely-valuable contest behind Todd Pletcher's Life Is Good.

"That's his target, the Saudi Cup, and as far as I know everything is on track," said Ted Voute, racing manager to Mishriff's owner, Prince Faisal.

"He's amazing, going back to back to Dubai and then Saudi, he's got an amazing constitution.

"What I do know is that John said to me that he's thickened out even more and he's even stronger.

"We'll wait and see, I notice we're second favourite to one of the American horses which I like, that takes the pressure off a little bit!

"Fingers crossed he stays in one piece and gets out there, it would be fun."

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