Jersey Stakes
Group 3, Ascot 14:30
£90,000 added,
3yo,
7f, Class 1   
Wednesday 15th June 2016

1 Ribchester 7/1
2 Thikriyaat 8/1
3 Forge 12/1
NR: Dragon Mall (USA), Kentuckyconnection (USA)
19 ran Distances: 2¼l, hd, ½l
TIME 1m 28.49s (slow by 2.89s)

Godolphin on the board as Ribchester lands the Jersey Stakes

Ribchester
© Racehorse Photos
Ribchester

Sheikh Mohammed's format for buying horses proven for other owners is nothing new, but now he tends to leave them with their trainers, rather than redirect them.

That paid off in today's Jersey Stakes over seven furlongs when Ribchester, who was bought from David Armstrong in the autumn, won in good style for trainer Richard Fahey. The 7/1 winner, who carried the colours of Godolphin and was ridden by retained jockey William Buick, scored by two and a quarter lengths and a head from Thikriyaat and Forge. On his previous start, Ribchester had finished third in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas behind Galileo Gold, who yesterday won the Group One St James's Palace Stakes.

Fahey, who trains two horses for Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin operation, said: "I'm delighted for Godolphin, but I'm delighted for myself. I was thrilled when I knew he was staying with me. That's the new policy and it's brilliant, and John [Ferguson, Godolphin's chief executive and racing manager] is good to work with and Sheikh Mohammed is very knowledgeable and between the team it works well. They leave it to us - after the Guineas I said to John I'd like to give the horse a break and he said 'do what you want'. There's no pressure.

"We thought about the St James's Palace Stakes, but John was like me, and just wanted to get the horse's head in front, so which was the easiest option? Mentally, the horse is a huge baby and still backward, and he's going to make a lovely four-year-old. He's a decent horse, but we chickened out and took the easy option, and I was worried because today's race was quite competitive, but he destroyed them.

"It looked good after Galileo Gold won yesterday, and English Guineas form is always good - but I felt today we had a better horse than we did in the Guineas. Once he got in behind today and relaxed I felt it would take a good one to beat him. He picks up so well. The French trip [his first run of the season before the Guineas] was a disaster on bottomless ground and he did too much in the race. He came back lighter than I would have liked, and so I opted for the English Guineas, rather than the French, to give him more time before Royal Ascot."

Asked if the colt could go up or down in trip, Fahey said: "He could go either way - and William said that. He wasn't stopping today, but he has the speed for six furlongs. He's in the Sussex Stakes, and it was in the back of my mind to take them on [the best milers] in the St James's Palace Stakes, but he could take them on there. We'll see how he is."

Buick was quick to praise trainer Richard Fahey's patience with the horse after the race.

"It was a nice performance - especially under a penalty as well," said the jockey.

"Richard always said that he didn't want to rush him back for either the Irish or the French (Guineas - after Ribchester had finished third in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket) so he saved him for this race and he's improved for it.

"Ribchester was very good. He ran very well in the Guineas and might have run a little bit better had things worked out a bit differently.

"Today Richard said beforehand just to get the job done and that is what he did. He has really grown up. He hit the front going very well and I ran out of horses to follow so I had to go when I did. He had a good look and still won by two and a bit lengths. I thought it was a very good performance.

"He doesn't mind that ground and he's given me a great feel - he's won well. I wanted to keep it simple on him. I could have taken a chance but look - it's Royal Ascot and I hadn't had a winner yet!

"It's soft ground out there - same as yesterday really. It's opened up a bit more. I would be surprised if it rides any difference on any part of the track to be honest.

"I don't think you have to be handy - it depends on the horse you're on and whether they handle it. You're not going to pick up quickly though on this ground.

"I think the sort of performance he's put in there wouldn't be too far short of Group One class."

William Hill Offer Club

Jersey Stakes
£90,000 added, 3yo only, 7f, Class 1
19 ran
Going: Soft

Pos Dr D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st (7) Ribchester (IRE) 7/1 W Buick
9-6
R A Fahey 3
2nd (17) Thikriyaat (IRE) 8/1 P Hanagan
9-1
Sir Michael Stoute 3
3rd (3) hd Forge 12/1 R L Moore
9-1
Sir Michael Stoute 3
4th (2) ½ Ibn Malik (IRE) 8/1 James McDonald
9-1
C Hills 3
5th (10) 1 Remarkable 8/1 R Havlin
9-1
J H M Gosden 3
6th (9) Castle Harbour 5/1f L Dettori
9-1
J H M Gosden 3
7th (1) Haalick (IRE) 12/1 Andrea Atzeni
9-1
R Varian 3
8th (13) nk Raucous 50/1 Jim Crowley
9-1
W J Haggas 3
9th (5) nse Gifted Master (IRE) 7/1 P J Smullen
9-1
H Palmer 3
10th (8) C Note (IRE) 25/1 C O'Donoghue
9-1
M Meade 3
11th (14) Light Music 14/1 P Cosgrave
8-12
W J Haggas 3
12th (4) Ross Castle (IRE) 40/1 T Piccone
9-4
M Palussiere 3
13th (12) Scrutineer (IRE) 28/1 S De Sousa
9-1
M R Channon 3
14th (6) Bolting (USA) 25/1 S Pasquier
9-1
F H Graffard 3
15th (15) nk Calder Prince (IRE) 66/1 R Kingscote
9-1
Tom Dascombe 3
16th (11) 4 Steady Pace 25/1 James Doyle
9-1
S bin Suroor 3
17th (18) Herald The Dawn (IRE) 16/1 K J Manning
9-6
J S Bolger 3
18th (20) 11 Ocean Eleven 150/1 R Winston
9-1
J Ryan 3
19th (16) ¾ Toliman 66/1 P C Boudot
9-1
A & G Botti 3
NR (21) Dragon Mall (USA) 20/1 J P Spencer
9-1
D M Simcock 3
NR (19) Kentucky-connection (USA) 33/1 Connor Beasley
9-1
B Smart 3

STOUTE PLEASED WITH PLACED DUO

Sir Michael Stoute was happy with the performances of second and third-placed stablemates Thikriyaat and Forge.

Thikriyaat was held up by Paul Hanagan early on and was not ideally drawn in stall 17 due to the pace of the race being on the far-side rail. However, the son of Azamour stayed on strongly to be a fast finishing two and a quarter-length second.

Forge always travelled well in the midfield and kept on stoutly for Ryan Moore to finish a neck behind his stable companion.

Stoute said of the duo: "They both ran very well. Thikriyaat would be better at a mile - he has run a blinder. Forge is a big, immature horse physically and still a bit of a baby mentally so that was a really good run as that is as far as he wants trip-wise."

Angus Gold, Racing Manager to Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, was also pleased with Thikriyaat as well as the Charlie Hills-trained Ibn Malik who finished fourth. Gold remarked: "They both ran really. Thikriyaat we always thought wanted further and so it has proved.

"Paul Hanagan said the race got away from him on the far side. He said if he had been drawn over there, he would have gone very close. You have to admire this horse as he only just does enough.

"A furlong down he was going to be seventh or eighth and he was still grinding away at the line. We are very pleased with him and we will obviously up him in trip."

"Ibn Malik has run a great race considering he was up there all the way. He has run a huge race as I'm amazed he got through this ground as I never thought he wanted soft ground with his action. But he has won on it and run a blinder there.

"Charles Hills feels he is more of a six-furlong horse, we will see. On his pedigree, he shouldn't be, but he is a keen-goer and James McDonald [jockey] said seven furlongs in that ground was too much for him so we will see."

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