Galileo Gold (left) and Ribchester (right) finishing behind The Gurkha
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Scott Burton 6:57PM 13 AUG 2016
Preview: France, Sunday
Deauville: Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard – Jacques le Marois (Group 1) 1m, 3yo+, no geldings
THE CLASSIC generation has produced some spellbinding sport over a mile this season, with Qipco 2,000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold engaged in a series of highly anticipated match-ups in Ireland, at Ascot and, most recently, at Goodwood.
Hugo Palmer’s stable star has answered every call to date and arrives in Deauville having gone down bravely to French Guineas winner The Gurkha in the Qatar Sussex Stakes, suffering a reversal of the form from the St James’s Palace Stakes in the process.
Ribchester finished three and a half lengths adrift of Galileo Gold when third in the Guineas but took a big bite out of that deficit when only a short head behind him at Goodwood last time.
The question remains whether both colts can back up again 18 days after such a hard race.
‘Proper Group 1 horse’
Richard Fahey, trainer of Ribchester, was eagerly anticipating the contest. “I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “Obviously it’s a rematch with Galileo Gold who beat us in the Sussex Stakes but my colt has come out of Goodwood very well.
“We’ve always thought he was a proper Group 1 horse, which he proved the last day. Now the aim is to win one.”
Hugo Palmer, trainer of Galileo Gold, reports his colt to be in great form. “He’s yet to disappoint us this season and I hope that continues,” he said. “He’s had a pretty long and tough season but you wouldn’t know it as he looks wonderful and delighted us in his work on Tuesday.
“The time of the Sussex Stakes was 1.44sec slower than the Guineas despite it being a downhill track, so maybe we could have made it even more of a test from the front there.
“We know he stays a mile incredibly well and Deauville is a stiff mile so a strongly-run race would be to our advantage and possibly not to Ribchester’s.”
Stormy Antarctic and Vadamos could be the nearest challengers to Galileo Gold and Ribchester, whilst Qatar Racing are represented by Lightning Spear and Arod in the 11-runner race.