Author: Duane Fonseca

NEARLY EVERYTHING is fantastic in the world of David Egan. When you’re at the top of your game and virtually everything you touch turns to gold, fewer adjectives seem more apt. “It’s fantastic to be able to ride these great horses around the world and it is fantastic to be able to travel around the world to ride during these Covid 19 times,” Dawson said as he appeared at Meydan for the first time since his Dubai World Cup Day victory in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic on Mishriff. A triumph which, might we add, was gained as a result of a fantastically executed ride from Egan, who brought his mount from last to first in one of the most eyecatching recent renewals of the 2410m contest on turf. “It’s fantastic riding here at Meydan,” Egan added. “It has a great aura about it, this place. The grandstand is as overwhelming as the first time I came here. I had just ridden out my apprentice claim and I came here to ride for Mick Channon and just having a walk on the track at the furlong pole and having a look at the grandstand was just imposing. “And then to have a winner here on Dubai World Cup night was fantastic for my boss Prince Faisal and Mr Gosden. So, hopefully, there will be more winners to come.” Mishriff is the horse that made Egan. It will be hard to tell if all the glory he brought Egan was a form of repayment for the Irishman’s hand in helping him shed his maiden tag on his third start. Whatever the reason, their partnership has been long and fruitful, with Egan partnering him in nine of his 14 career starts and winning five times. Those wins include the aforementioned Dubai Sheema Classic, which came hot on the heels of the 4yo Make Believe colt’s stunning late sweep for glory in the world’s richest race, the $20million Saudi Cup at Riyadh’s King Abdulaziz Racetrack in February. The year was brilliant for the pair, who added the Group 1 Juddmonte International at York in August to their lists of conquests in 2021. Egan, 22, has fond memories of his partnership with Mishriff and has ominously declared a new chapter is sure to open in 2022. “After winning [the Dubai Sheema Classic] on Mishriff, I went straight to the airport, was on a flight and straight into quarantine, so it’s nice to reminisce and go over the good times if not on the night then on other nights,” Egan said. “Mishriff has a special place in my heart. Hopefully, the story isn’t finished and he has a long and successful season ahead of him hopefully.” Mishriff’s campaigned will be meticulously planned by the training partnership that oversees his development. Until his Dubai Sheema Classic victory, Prince Faisal’s flagbearer had been under the tutelage of legendary British conditioner John Gosden, but with the handler sharing his training licence with son Thady, the pair have been in charge of his affairs and Egan hinted Mishriff’s 2022 campaign will run according to a schedule similar to the one followed in 2021. Things aren’t set in stone yet, but Egan said: “I know he’s had an easy time with things, similar to last year, when his final run was the Champion Stakes as it was this year. “He’ll have a little break now and probably stay in Clarehaven and then slowly build up his work for a similar campaign hopefully.” Egan’s career, too, had been meticulously planned by his family of experts. He comes from a family with deep roots in racing. His globetrotting father John has ridden winners all over the world and his mother Sandra Hughes trained the 2015 Irish Grand National winner Thunder and Roses. His uncle is the Lambourn based trainer and three time former British Champion Jockey and 2015 Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint winner Richard Hughes, who is the son of Dessie Hughes, rider and trainer of multiple Cheltenham Festival winning horses and Egan’s grandfather. Born in Kildare, Ireland, Egan’s name today rings out in far corners of the globe in a manner similar to that of his illustrious father John. Egan too is a wanted man and travels the far corners of the world on assignment. Following his first appearance at Meydan on Thursday, 16 December, where he rode the Fawzi Nass trained Kanood to victory in the 1900m handicap, which was one of his three rides for the night, Egan flew to Bahrain to ride there. Having wound up duty in Manama, he boarded a flight to India for a big Sunday of racing in the nation’s financial capital Mumbai. Egan won on two of his three booked rides there: a Group One and a Group Two event. It wasn’t his first taste of big race success on Indian shores as he had previously won the 2019 running of the Group 1 Indian 1000 Guineas at Mumbai on Gift Of Grace. Egan says he is happy to jetset to destinations far and wide. “It’s great to be in demand and for people to want your services. So, if I’m wanted I’ll go anywhere and it’s fantastic to be able to ride these great horses around the world,” he said. “I’m very lucky because I get to spend the winter in Bahrain riding for a very good team with Fawzi Nass and Sheikh Khaled and Sheikh Nasser. “It’s a fantastic team to be part of and my trips to India are great, I will go wherever I am needed. “It’s just fantastic to be able to do this during these Covid times when everyone is restricted on travel and other things, but as the world starts to open up us jockeys can kind of make the most of it which is great.” Egan was happy to be riding on dirt at Meydan and is looking forward to riding more on the surface during travels to the Gulf. “The last time I rode on dirt was probably in the Saudi Cup so it’s nice to get back on it,” he concluded. When you’re winning, it’s all just fantastic.