RIBCHESTER TO WIN QUEEN ANNE STAKES
Ribchester runs in the first race of the meeting the Queen Anne Stakes and if we can get close to even money will be a Pacafi. The Racing Horse never backs ante-post but he was available at 2/1 just after his Lockinge victory and we knew that was a great price. His chance is obvious both on the form book and the trends. In 11 runs he's only been out of the top 3 once, that was when the French stewards disqualified him from second place, and was a winner of the Jersey Stakes at last year's Royal meeting. His next 5 starts were all in Group 1 company where he finished 31231 with all defeats being by a length or less. At last year's Ascot Champions Day meeting he was a 1/2 length second to star filly Minding in the QEII and his last win came in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury where he made all to come home over three lengths clear of the field. That has long been the number pointer to the Queen Anne and was a career best performance. With plenty of course experience, Group 1 form and a perfect trends profile he's the one they all have to beat.
VERSATILE IN TERMS OF GROUND CONDITIONS AND TACTICS
The Lockinge race didn't unfold as expected from a tactical point of view, with the apparent intended pacemaker Tocaninimissin missing the break but it was clear William Buick intended to be positive anyway. Ribchester settled fine in front, better than Galileo Gold, the only one who tried to go with him from the off, and nothing could live with this colt in the closing stages, despite him drifting from the middle of the track onto the stands' rail. This was a second Group 1 success to go with last year's Prix Jacques Le Marois and it seems unlikely to be his last. He's a fast colt yet he was strong over this testing 1m (had only given way late on over 1m1f in the Dubai Turf on his reappearance), and he's tremendously versatile in terms of ground conditions and tactics. He's just a really good horse and we all know that Richard Fahey says this is the best horse he has ever trained!
GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME - RICHARD FAHEY
After the race the trainer told us: "The pacemaker missed the kick so it was Plan B for Paul Hanagan but I always thought Ribchester could do something like that. I wasn't disappointed because he seemed relaxed in front. He's mentally mature and physically getting better all the time.
E78,000 foal, E105,000 yearling, first foal; dam unplaced 1m-1m4f (RPR 58), half-sister to 1m6f Group 3 winner Tactic, Group-placd 1m3f winner Yaazy and Listed-placed 1m/1m4f winner Zahoo out of 1m2f winning daughter of Irish 1,000 winner Mehthaaf; showed bags of potential when second on his debut in good 6f Doncaster maiden in July 2015; duly improved when finding only one too good for him in the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes at York's Ebor Meeting; joined Godolphin prior to readily win in the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury; acts on good and easier ground; hung badly left and was disqualified from second place on his reappearance in the Group 3 Prix Djebel in April 2016; fine third to Galileo Gold in the Group 1 2000 Guineas; won the Group 3 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot; third in Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood in July; ready winner of the Group 1 Jacques Le Marois at Deauville in August; fine effort to chase home Minding in Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Champions day; another good effort when third in Group 1 Dubai Turf after a five-month break at Meydan in March, but showed best form to date when making all in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May on deep ground. Cut and paste the link below to view the Lockinge:
Having a good thing is all very well but every bet must have perceived value. So what is perceived value in the case of Ribchester? We know who the rivals are and we know the state of the ground. We know the colt is maturing and unlikely to be a problem in the paddock or going to post. We must forget the 2/1 we were offered ante-post and think of 2.29pm on Tuesday and our best opinion suggests even money as being a good price. If we were offered 10/11 bpg now we would take it! Of course there is bound to be offers from the bookmakers and good accounting should help those who bet modestly.
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