British raider Mishriff provided trainer John Gosden with his first victory in the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly.
An impressive winner of the Listed Newmarket Stakes on his latest appearance, the son of Make Believe was a 7-1 shot as he stepped up to Group One level for the French Derby in the hands of Ioritz Mendizabal.
Settled on the heels of the leaders for much of the 10-furlong journey, Mishriff travelled strongly into the home straight before displaying a smart change of gear to grab the lead and run out a convincing winner.
The Summit (25-1) just held on for second ahead of 13-8 favourite Victor Ludorum. The latter was bidding to complete a Classic double following victory in the French 2000 Guineas at Deauville, but was slowly away from his unfavourable inside draw and got rolling all too late.
There was a brief wait as the stewards inquired into possible interference, but it was quickly announced that the result would stand.
Mishriff’s delighted connections may consider a return to France in the autumn for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Ted Voute, racing manager to owner Prince Faisal, said: “I watched the race on on Sky Sports and Equidia – it was very exciting.
“I actually thought he was in a bit of trouble at one stage. It’s probably not his ideal ground, but he really picked up once he got into a good position.
“He has improved a lot from two to three – funnily enough, so did Make Believe. It’s obviously fantastic for the Prince that Make Believe has now sired a Classic winner for him.”
As for future plans, he added: “I think in a normal year you’d be looking at something like the Eclipse, but obviously we can’t do that.
“He ran in Saudi Arabia on February 29, so he’s been on the go for a while – and maybe we should give him a break before bringing him back for something in the autumn.
“The way he finished there today, it looks like a mile and a half wouldn’t be a problem, so that (Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe) could be an option.”
Gosden was at Sandown, where he said: “He is a lovely horse. It was the plan to go for the French Derby after the Newmarket Stakes. The owner/breeder was very keen to go for the Prix du Jockey Club. Mr Mendizabal rode him beautifully after we discussed it this morning.
“I thought the most impressive part of the race was the last 100 metres. He is a grand horse. It is my first French Derby, but I’ve messed up a couple before!
“He is a proper horse. He has done nothing wrong really. He got left behind in Saudi Arabia, then finished the race strongly behind a horse that had Breeders’ Cup form.
“He won well in Newmarket and the form of the Newmarket Stakes looks good and he has now done this. I’m fascinated trip-wise, as he got that extended mile and a quarter. Do we stay at that sort of trip, maybe we do. It was a great result.”