Mishriff will become the highest earning racehorse of all time if he successfully defends his crown in the Saudi Cup on Saturday, with the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia commissioning a short film — “The Story of Mishriff” — to celebrate the horse’s journey so far.
Owned and bred by Prince Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al-Faisal, Mishriff competed at the first two Saudi Cup meetings. In the film, Mishriff’s owner-breeder tells presenter Nick Luck that the horse looked “horrible” in pictures as a foal, before his transformation into “a proper horse.”
The horse has extra significance for Prince Faisal, having been named after his former trainer, Mishriff, who taught him the “Arab way of looking at a horse.” After being reared at Coolmore, Mishriff was sent to John Gosden, who Prince Faisal describes as “the best trainer in the world.”
Gosden said that Mishriff needed time to fill into his frame when he first came to the yard, but that he had a tremendous three-year-old year before showing his versatility by being able to cope with the American pace in the Saudi Cup and then going on to land the Sheema Classic on turf over a mile and a half (2,400 meters). He said: “The plan has always been to come back again for the Saudi Cup, and it looks a mighty tough field but so it should be.”
David Egan was just 21 years old when winning the race 12 months ago, and the Irish jockey describes how much the victory meant to him: “The Saudi Cup meeting has obviously had a huge impact on my life. Prince Faisal, who has been in the racing industry for so long, and to be able to win it with a horse he bred, must have been very special for him. For me to be able to deliver that was very heartwarming.”
Finally, Prince Faisal explains the love he has for horses: “Nobody loves racing and horses like Arabs. I just love the horse and I think that people who don’t love horses shouldn’t have anything to do with racing. This is the whole thing: If you don’t enjoy it, leave it.
“The Story of Mishriff” was filmed and produced by Equine Productions.