James Doyle booked to ride Mishriff in the King George at Ascot after owner Prince Faisal announced end of retainer deal with David Egan; Frankie Dettori set to get aboard Emily Upjohn for John and Thady Gosden; watch live on Sky Sports Racing on Saturday at 3.35pm
Wednesday 20 July 2022 15:57, UK
James Doyle is relishing the prospect of partnering Mishriff for the first time in the King George at Ascot on Saturday but admits he feels “terribly sorry” for the star’s former rider David Egan.
With owner Prince Faisal announcing last week that Egan was no longer his retained rider, the plum ride aboard John and Thady Gosden's globetrotting star was up for grabs.
Frankie Dettori steered Mishriff to win a Group Two in France two seasons ago, but will be on board his stablemate Emily Upjohn on Saturday, paving the way for Doyle to get the call.
Don't miss the King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes from Ascot on Saturday 23 July on Sky Sports Racing
Doyle told Sky Sports Racing he plans to speak to Egan before the weekend and commended his weighing room colleague for his reaction to being replaced.
Doyle said: "I haven't had chance to speak to David yet, but I will do.
"Obviously I feel terribly sorry for David, it's never nice, but I heard him say he's not the first person to be jocked off a horse and he won't be the last. I think that's the right way to look at it, these things happen and how you deal with these events kind of defines you as a person.
"He's dealt with it like a grown-up man and we mustn't forget he's still a young man in this sport, so he's still learning his trade and full credit to the way he's coped with everything."
Doyle got to know his big-race mount during an early-morning workout in Newmarket on Wednesday and could not have been happier with how the gallop went.
"It was an early start, but he felt fantastic," Doyle said. "I jumped on him at 5.10am and he did a nice blow up the Al Bahathri, a gallop he knows well, and he felt in good order. There was no questions asked, but I have to say he felt super and moved great.
"It's very exciting - what a race. It's a small but select field, but there's not one runner in the race that doesn't deserve to be there."
Mishriff was last seen lunging late to finish a neck second to Vadeni in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown three weeks ago, a race in which Doyle finished fourth with Lord North.
"I think he did a great job to surge at them late," Doyle said. "Inside the last 50 yards, he really did power home when he got into some clean space.
"It was and unfortunate position to find himself in. Three back on the rail at Sandown is a very difficult situation to be in and you need lots of luck to go your way.
"I felt very sorry for David Egan the way things unfolded as the gaps just didn't open up, but that's Sandown, especially in those very competitive races like the Eclipse.
"I think he showed he's right at the top of his game and I think it was mentioned before the Eclipse that he'd be better for the run. The prospect of him being more tuned up for the King George is quite exciting and the mile and a half doesn't seem to be a problem.
"He's a horse that really wears his heart on his sleeve late on in a race. He has that superb way of galloping where he really does get his head low. I wish every horse tried as hard as he does."