Ribblesdale Stakes 2008 

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Royal Ascot 2008

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ascot racecourseMichita Storms to Ribblesdale Stakes Success

1st (9) Michita 10-3 Fav
2nd (1) Arthur's Girl 7-1
3rd (6) Hobby 11-1
9 ran
Also: 12-1 Icon Project 4th
NR: 4

The John Gosden-trained Michita bounced back from her seventh place finish in the Juddmonte Oaks at Epsom to run away with the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes under Jimmy Fortune.

“She ran a great race when winning at Goodwood but at Epsom she went into Tattenham Corner in about sixth place and came out in 14th which is the wrong way round. It isn’t a lot of help when you are trying to run the straight there,” said Gosden.

“Jimmy basically put her back in position because she didn’t handle the camber and he left her alone. I think because he had the intelligence to leave her alone in the last two furlongs rather than just wildly ride her is the difference between winning and getting beaten here today.

“She came here still a happy filly, she’s only done one breeze between races, and she’s done it well. I couldn’t be happier with her and Jimmy’s looked after her at Epsom and it has paid dividends here today. If they don’t handle Epsom, they don’t handle it - it’s a fabulous track but it is demanding. She’s young and didn’t quite have the balance there

“We will put her away now, give her a holiday and put her in the Yorkshire Oaks. She might compete against the colts as a four-year-old but not this season. I love to see older fillies racing older colts but at three, I like to keep them apart. The Oaks winner this year is very good and I think we should match them up again and see what older fillies are out there.”

Fortune added: “They went a decent gallop and she relaxed lovely early on. We had an ideal position, one off the rail, and I knew from four out she was going to win unless something was going to come from behind. She wasn’t doing a tap out there, she was just lobbing along and she was really enjoying herself and I always thought that I had everything in front of me covered. It was more from horses behind me that I was worried and Aidan has done us a few times this week!

“She proved to us that she stays a mile and a half well but I think it will be hard for us to beat the Oaks winner anywhere. But Michita is a Group 1 filly and I hope she will pick up a Group 1 somewhere along the line.”

Starting Price
Beaten Distance
J H M Gosden
J Fortune
8st 12lbs
10 - 3
Arthur's Girl
G Wragg
S Drowne
8st 12lbs
7 - 1
3 1/2 lengths
R M Beckett
S Sanders
8st 12lbs
11 - 1
2 1/2 lengths
Icon Project
B J Meehan
R Hughes
8st 12lbs
12 - 1
3/4 length
J L Dunlop
R Hills
8st 12lbs
16 - 1
Changing Skies
B J Meehan
L Dettori
8st 12lbs
11 - 2
2 lengths
Sovereign's Honour
Sir Michael Stoute
R L Moore
8st 12lbs
10 - 1
Kitty Matcham
A P O'Brien
J Murtagh
8st 12lbs
13 - 2
2 1/4 lengths
Cape Amber
P W Chapple-Hyam
A Munro
8st 12lbs
9 - 2
3 1/2 lengths
Dar Re Mi
J H M Gosden
S Pasquier
8st 12lbs



Geoff Wragg saddled Arthur’s Girl to stay on from towards the rear to take second in the Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes behind impressive winner Michita.

The handler is looking towards the Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster for the filly. He said: “Arthur’s Girl ran a blinder. I knew she had the class after Salisbury because she picked up and was so quick. She has loads of speed.

“She didn’t mind the ground here today. I’m delighted with her. We’ll probably aim for the Park Hill and take something in along the way.

“She’s so relaxed. She came here last night and ate up.”

Meanwhile, Ralph Beckett, whose Hobby led until being headed inside the final furlong and a half, was delighted with his filly’s performance and also suggested that the Park Hill - the “fillies’ St Leger” - could be next on the agenda

He said: “I’m thrilled to bits - chuffed. We were guessing on trip, guess on ground but we had to take our chance. I was pretty sure on trip but I hadn’t a clue about the ground. She seems more resilient though this year and she’s grown into herself.

“Seb (Sanders) has given her a lovely ride. He just said that he wished he had cranked it up earlier but I don’t think the placings would have made any difference. So we’re thrilled.

“I think the Park Hill would be the right race for her. My first thought when she went across the line was that she’d get a mile and six furlongs and the jockey agreed.”

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