Ribchester (blue silks): pictured winning the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois
PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
By Jon Lees 8:06AM 13 OCT 2016
RICHARD FAHEY is dreaming of the biggest win of his career and insisted Ribchester was “the one they have to beat” in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.
The Godolphin-owned colt is the 5-2 second favourite to get the better of the fourth instalment of his rivalry with 2,000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold in what is likely a decisive clash in the contest for European mile championship honours.
Galileo Gold has come out on top twice, winning at Newmarket and finishing a short head in front when the pair were second and third in the Sussex Stakes, but Ribchester was triumphant in the Prix Jacques le Marois, in which the 2,000 Guineas hero was only eighth.
Ribchester delivered a fourth Group 1 success for Fahey at Deauville but will collect more than double what he earned in France if he secures a first Qipco British Champions Day victory for the stable in the £1.1 million contest, which Aidan O’Brien confirmed last night will include star filly Minding, as stablemate Alice Springs was ruled out.
‘I’m very happy’
“It’s nice to be part of it,” said the Fahey. “Everything is going well so I’m excited. Days like this are what the job is about. I would prefer to have the favourite than a 33-1 shot but he is probably the one they have to beat.
“He is one of the few horses for whom the trainer doesn’t have any ground excuses. I’m very happy with him. Everything has gone according to plan. It’s nice to have an opportunity to train a horse like that.”
William Buick, who rode Ribchester to wins at Deauville and in the Jersey Stakes but was suspended at Goodwood where the colt finished strongly, retains the mount.
Fahey added: “Galileo Gold beat Ribchester twice in the Guineas and the Sussex Stakes. On the last clash we beat Galileo Gold. You’d have to think that was a below-par run for him but we have to think we’re improving. We had a short head to make up on the Sussex. We felt we had improved at Deauville but we don’t know because the other horse was disappointing.
“The Sussex was his first run on a turn and they just didn’t go quick enough early. Frankie [Dettori] got a soft lead on Galileo Gold. Our horse was just doing a bit too much in a vital part of the race.”
Farhh, a full brother to Racing History, won the Champion Stakes in 2013
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
De Sousa rides History in Champion
Buick is reunited with Jack Hobbs in the Qipco Champion Stakes in which his part-owners Godolphin also run Racing History. The pair finished third and fourth a year ago and return with neither having completed a race since.
Jack Hobbs was pulled up injured at Newmarket in the spring and Racing History has also been kept off the course by a setback. A brother of 2013 Champion Stakes winner Farhh, he will be ridden by Silvestre de Sousa.
Trainer Saeed Bin Suroor said: “Racing History had an injury earlier in the season and needed a break. He is back working well. It’s his first race and whatever happens he will need it. We could take him to Germany for a Group 1 afterwards.”