History repeats as Mishriff becomes a first-crop Classic winner for Make Believe
Prince Faisal's homebred colt lands the Prix du Jockey Club
Mishriff became a fitting first Group 1 winner for up-and-coming second-season sire Make Believe with victory in the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly on Sunday.
Mishriff was carrying the same famous maroon silks with grey epaulets of Prince Faisal that had been borne by Make Believe when he became a first-crop Classic winner for his sire Makfi, in his case taking the Poule d'Essai des Poulains.
Mishriff's success will be particularly satisfying for Prince Faisal, not just because he raced Make Believe and still owns a third of the Ballylinch Stud-based stallion.
The John Gosden-trained colt hails from the prince's finest thoroughbred family, as a great-grandson of his Prix de Diane heroine and blue hen mare Rafha.
The 1987-foaled daughter of Kris regularly appears in pedigrees of big race winners thanks primarily to her prolific sire sons Invincible Spirit and Kodiac, while her Listed-winning daughter Massarra has produced stakes winners Blissful, Cuff, Gustav Klimt, Nayarra and Wonderfully, as well as St James's Palace Stakes third Mars.
Mishriff is out of Contradict, a winning daughter of Raven's Pass and Princess Royal Stakes scorer Acts Of Grace, who in turn is by Bahri out of Rafha.
Contradict is emerging as a fine producer. Her first foal Orbaan – inbred 2x3 to Rafha as he is by Invincible Spirit – was a Listed winner, while her second offspring Momkin (a colt by Bated Breath) has run second in the Craven Stakes and Supreme Stakes.
Mishriff, a four-length winner of the Newmarket Stakes last month, is Contradict's third foal but, as Prince Faisal's racing adviser Ted Voute reported on Sunday, there will be a long wait before we see the next foal out of the mare.
“Sadly she lost her foal every year in the last three seasons – she managed to get in foal each time but she seemed to absorb them,” he said. “However, as of now, she is safely in foal to Frankel so touch wood she keeps hold of it.
“Contradict won a handicap by six lengths for Mick Channon and ran fourth in a black-type race but she was just below top-class.
“However, she is just the most beautiful mare and it's no surprise she is turning out to be a great broodmare going by her looks and pedigree.”
Reflecting on the rise of Make Believe, Voute added: “The sire himself improved by 34lb from two to three and it's just possible that his produce might do so too.
“Prince Faisal retained a third of Make Believe, with Ballylinch taking a third and the other third being syndicated.
“But the thing is, the prince only owns ten broodmares and can't use all the nominations he is entitled to, so what he always said was that he would send his very best mares, and that's what he's done.”
Voute paid tribute to Prince Faisal's feat of building such an outstanding dynasty as the one tracing back to Rafha.
“He's a very knowledgeable owner and breeder with his own ideas, and he does all the mating plans himself. We're just passengers and raise the horses, but we're delighted for him.”
Make Believe, a three-parts brother to dual US Grade 1 winner Dubawi Heights, was signed for by Hugo Merry on behalf of Prince Faisal for 180,000gns as a foal.
After winning the Poule d'Essai des Poulains and Prix de la Foret for Andre Fabre he was retired to Ballylinch Stud in County Kilkenny.
His first crop has yielded four stakes winners, with Group 3 winners Ocean Fantasy and Rose Of Kildare his chief flagbearers besides Mishriff.
A noted good-looker, Make Believe stood this year at a fee of €12,000.