Ribchester provided Godolphin with an eighth triumph in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes with an emphatic all-the-way success at Newbury on Saturday.
In the process, the four-year-old provided Richard Fahey with his first success in the QIPCO British Champions Series for four years.
Ribchester’s intended pacemaker, Toscanini, missed the break and never got near the front but it made no difference as William Buick bulied his rivals into submission on the impressive winner.
The Iffraaj colt, sent off the 7-4 favourite, quickened well under William Buick to open up a clear advantage passing the two-furlong marker and soon had the rest of his rivals in trouble, despite drifting right to the stands’ rail.
After straightening up inside the final furlong, Ribchester ran on again for to score impressively by three and three quarter lengths from Lightning Spear, with another two and a half lengths back to the third home Breton Rock.
The heavily backed Somehow, sent off at 100-30, plugged on on for fourth, with the easy to back Galileo Gold, winner of the 2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes last year, finishing fifth after racing very keenly towards the stand’s side.
Fahey said: “It was a huge performance. We felt that there was one in him and it has all come together.
“It’s a huge relief for me because I have always been ranting and raving about this horse. He got beat in the Sussex and was third in the 2000 Guineas last year but we always felt that he would get stronger.
“Today has to be one of the best performances of a horse from our place – Ribchester is special.”
John Ferguson, Chief Executive and Racing Manager of Godolphin, said: “The thing about this horse is that he appears to be getting better and better.
“My first reaction is that we remain at a mile but he is a horse that William has always said would get a mile and a quarter. So we have the Queen Anne and Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot to think about.
“While he is winning over a mile like this, it is hard to change but I think he will definitely get further.”
David Simcock, trainer of the second and third, remarked: “I am very proud of both of them – they ran really, really well.”
Hugo Palmer, trainer of Galileo Gold, said: “It was a disappointing performance by Galileo Gold who got a bit lonely racing wide of the others.
“We will keep to the plan of going for the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot and then the Qatar Sussex Stakes.”
GODOLPHIN’S MIGHTY EIGHT IN THE LOCKINGE
1998 Cape Cross
1999 Fly To The Stars
2015 Night Of Thunder