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Mishriff drawn wide in Saudi Cup defence

Mishriff will have to overcome a wide draw if he is to defend his Saudi Cup title in Riyadh on Saturday.

Thady Gosden, who trains the five-year-old in partnership with his father John, picked stall 14 of 14 at a draw ceremony on Wednesday ahead of the $20million feature.

Mishriff started from stall 12 when triumphing last year, before going on to win the Sheema Classic in Dubai and the Juddmonte International at York.

Gosden admitted the draw was far from perfect, but reports the Make Believe horse to be in top trim as he bids to tries to add the £11.1million he has already secured in prize money.

He said: “Obviously it’s not ideal but last year he was in 12, so hopefully he will jump well and be able to run down the backstretch.

“He still has the same enthusiasm (at home), he still has a bit of a buck and a play and shows us he’s feeling well. He’s in good form.”

Real World will be in stall four in the Saudi Cup
Real World will be in stall four in the Saudi Cup (David Davies/PA)

Saeed bin Suroor and Frankie Dettori team up with Real World, with the Godolphin runner having made a rapid ascent through the ranks last year.

The five-year-old won each of his four outings, graduating from the Royal Hunt Cup to win a Newbury Listed prize before landing the Group Three Strensall Stakes at York.

He signed off with a narrow verdict in the Group Two Prix Daniel Wildenstein at Longchamp and was victorious at that level in the Zabeel Mile on his reappearance at Meydan last month. He will be in stall four.

Bin Suroor said: “I think this is the first time I have chosen a good draw! He shows a good turn of foot and he can jump well from the gate.

“Frankie rides him and he knows him well. It would be great to see him run well.”

Mandaloun, who was officially awarded the 2021 Kentucky Derby earlier this week following the disqualification of Medina Spirit, leads the American charge and he will be in stall six for the nine-furlong dirt contest.

He already has a win under his belt this season, having landed a Grade Three at Fair Grounds.

Trainer Brad Cox said: “He’s doing well. He stepped forward from three to four, which is what you like to see. I think he needs to take another step forward and I think he can.”

Sealiway has his first start for trainer Francis Graffard
Sealiway has his first start for trainer Francis Graffard (Steven Paston/PA)

Last season’s Champion Stakes hero Sealiway will be partnered by Ryan Moore for the first time as he starts from stall 11.

Now trained by Francis Graffard, he makes his first start of the year in Riyadh, with Pauline Chehboub, representing part-owner Haras de la Gousserie, believing he has improved further over the winter.

“He had a big season last year, but we think he is better than ever at four,” she said.

“He’s a very versatile horse. He travelled well and he is a horse with a big personality – you know when he’s around.

“Mickael Barzalona rides Magny Cours, so we have Ryan Moore – he’s not bad!”

The Andre Fabre-trained Magny Cours will be in stall seven, with leading Japanese hopes Marche Lorraine, who was a shock winner of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, in 13 and T O Keynes in stall eight.

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