Richard Fahey is turning his mind towards next month’s Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood after Ribchester stormed to Royal Ascot success in the Queen Anne Stakes.
The Godolphin-owned colt was the hot favourite for the opening contest of the meeting and he obliged impressively to confirm his position as Britain’s – if not Europe’s – leading miler.
Last month’s Group 1 Lockinge Stakes winner scored at Royal Ascot 2016 in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes but is a higher class horse these days and he confirmed that under a confident steer from William Buick.
Coming through off a blistering pace set by Toscanini to lead at the furlong marker, Ribchester comfortably held off the late challenges of Mutakayyef and Deauville to win the Queen Anne.
Fahey admits that he sees absolutely no reason to extend his supremely talented charge beyond a mile for now and the Sussex is next up.
There, he could potentially take on the leading Classic-generation colts, with the likes of dual-Guineas winner Churchill and Richard Hannon’s Barney Roy, who reversed Newmarket form with Churchill to land the St James’s Palace Stakes at Ascot, potentially headed for Goodwood.
“I’m delighted he won,” said Fahey. “William said he’s got huge gears and that he was never in trouble. “He gets the trip well and that makes him a good horse.
It was not really the plan to go that quick, but in fairness I did tell Paul [Hanagan] to send [Toscanini] out and set him alight.
“He’s got to be the best I’ve trained,” added the Malton-based handler.
“The Sussex Stakes is where he has to go as the French race he won last year (Prix Jacques le Marois) is only ten days after, so it will be one or the other.
“I was hoping that he’d stay further than a mile but we don’t need to now.”