Champions Day target for Richard Fahey’s Ribchester with the QIPCO Queen Elizabeth II Stakes the favoured option


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Despite being beaten on his last start when finishing second to Here Comes When, Ribchester is expected to bounce back to form and has Champions Day as his target

RICHARD FAHEY is looking at the QIPCO Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot as his target for stable star Ribchester.

Despite suffering a shock defeat to Here Comes When in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood last week, Fahey is expecting him to bounce back with Champions Day the main aim.


“He’s absolutely fine after the race (at Goodwood),” said Fahey.

“I might give him a break and wait for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, but either way Champions Day is the first choice.

Ribchester was beaten in the heavy ground at Goodwood

“I haven’t entered him for the Champion Stakes as I think we’re going to stick at a mile with him for the time being.

“Ribchester ran very respectably in the race last year against a filly who was something special and I honestly believe he is a better horse this year.



Buick celebrates as Ribchester wins the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot

“Quite what happened at Goodwood I’m still not sure, but I suspect it was a mistake to try to make the running and that was my mistake.

“It was a horrible, horrible day, not just in terms of the going, but also with the weather, and he may have just got sick of having the rain and the wind blowing right into his face up the straight.

“They were proper extreme conditions. It was just one of those things and we all live to fight another day.”

Ribchester is one of 48 entries for the QEII, which carries a total prize fund of £1.1million.

Here Comes When


Here Comes When relished conditions

A potential rematch with Here Comes When could be on the cards, with his trainer Andrew Balding also entering the fast-improving Beat The Bank.

Balding said: “The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes will come under very serious consideration for both of them.

Beat The Bank

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Beat The Bank could also be in contention for British Champions Day

“Here Comes When is absolutely bouncing after Goodwood – he’s in great form and British Champions Day is attractive for him.

He’s better when lightly-raced and if he were to run at all before, it might be in a Group 2 race in Milan, where he doesn’t have to carry a Group 1 penalty.

QIPCO British Champions Day

  • The winners of 83 Group 1s and 16 European Classics hold entries for QIPCO British Champions Day where the horses will comepte for a record-breaking £4.26 million in prize money
  • Europe’s top 10 horses all entered for Britain’s richest raceday, including top rated horse in Europe, Enable
  • 30 French entries, including winners of the French Derby and French Oaks
  • Celebrate the end of the Flat season in style and party the night away with a headline act which saw Sigala bring the curtain down on the finale last year
  • Tickets can be purchased HERE

“Beat The Bank is only a three-year-old and we have to be careful not to over-face him this year as there is lots to look forward to.

“But he seems versatile and Ascot will certainly be coming under consideration.”



Churchill has been given an entry by trainer Aidan O’Brien

Aidan O’Brien has given the option to dual 2,000 Guineas hero Churchill and dual 1,000 Guineas heroine Winter, among others.

Saeed bin Suroor has entered Thunder Snow, who was last seen landing the Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly.


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Winter (left) gets the job done at Goodwood and also has an entry at Ascot

The Godolphin trainer said: “He worked really well on Saturday and has been a star horse for me this year.

“I would like to run him at Ascot on British Champions Day and we will look at both the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and the Champion Stakes nearer the time.”

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