- Sire-Dam -
Ribchester established himself as Europe’s leading miler in 2017, scooping three Group 1 prizes and finishing runner-up in two more.
It was no great surprise that the colt should up his game because as a two-year-old he always looked the type to do better with time, even though he won the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury as a juvenile.
That was his first outing for Godolphin, having been purchased by them after he had shown plenty of ability in two earlier defeats.
Ribchester had warmed up for his Classic mission by finishing second past the post in the Prix Djebel at Maisons-Laffitte but he was demoted to fifth that day for causing interference to his rivals.
After Newmarket, Ribchester proved himself a class act when winning the Group Two Jersey Stakes in smooth style at Royal Ascot.
And many considered him a little unlucky when third, beaten a head and a short head, when third behind The Gurkha and Galileo Gold in the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.
He went a long way to proving that when landing the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois next time at Deauville, before beating all bar Minding in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.
“He wasn’t unlucky but he maybe just over-raced a little bit in the early stages of the race,” Richard Fahey said after the latter race. “He is a horse with a very high cruising speed and they couldn’t go quick enough for him early on.
“We are really happy with the run. He came back at Minding at the end of the race there but I am a huge admirer of the winner, she is a wonderful filly and we can be proud of how our horse has run.”
Kept in training for 2017, Ribchester ran well to be a length third in the Dubai Turf on his return at Meydan and then deservedly landed his first Champions Series victory with an all-the-way win in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.
He confirmed himself as a brilliant miler when following up in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot from Mutakayyef and Deauville. Fahey said afterwards: “Ribchester is just an exceptional horse. He has to be the best I have ever trained.”
An odd-on defeat in the Qatar Sussex Stakes, on heavy ground at Goodwood, was forgiven when he went one better in the Prix du Moulin at Chantilly last time. Next time he split Persuasive and Churchill in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO).
“It’s difficult to blame the ground as he’s a horse who’s won on soft ground, but he’s such a good moving horse and William [Buick] feels there that he’s come to win and win well but he just got beaten in the dead ground there,” Fahey said.
“He just doesn’t put it to bed. The winner coped with the conditions better. That’s twice he’s been beaten in desperate conditions. But we’re happy enough. Well, not really, but I have to say that!”
Just a fortnight later he was back in action at Breeders’ Cup, finishing fifth in the Mile. It perhaps came a bit quick for him but it would be unfair to hold it against him. He has now been retired to stud.
BCS Career statistics
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