All systems go for Ribchester
Ribchester is firmly on course to bid for more Group One glory in the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on August 2.
The Richard Fahey-trained colt has progressed at a rate of knots since winning the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot last year, finishing third in the Sussex 12 months ago to The Gurkha before striking at the top level in the Prix Jacques le Marois.
He was just beaten by Minding in the QEII on his final outing of 2016, returning in the Dubai Turf at Meydan in March and showing his class on his latest two starts in winning the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury and the Queen Anne back at the Royal meeting.
Fahey said: "I've been very happy since Ascot and everything has gone to plan, we've had no issues. I've been lucky with him since he has been in training that he has never had any problems and that he enjoys his work.
"We are comfortable and happy. Very early on he was quite immature mentally, but as he has got older he has got wiser. He takes everything in his stride and enjoys it. He is the highest (rated) horse I've ever trained and because of that he is the best horse I've trained."
Opposition at Goodwood is likely to include Aidan O'Brien's dual 2000 Guineas winner Churchill, who could only finish fourth in the St James's Palace Stakes at the Royal meeting but still has Fahey's utmost respect.
Fahey added: "We've got the excitement of taking on the three-year-olds. I'm a huge fan of Churchill. He disappointed the other day and I'm sure Aidan was disappointed."Coral make Ribchester the 8-11 favourite for the mile showpiece, ahead of Churchill at 9-4.Confirming Churchill an intended runner, O'Brien said: "Everything has been well since Ascot and the plan for him is go to the Sussex Stakes. That's what we're aiming him at at the moment and we're very happy with him."Nothing came to light regarding Ascot, he seemed to be fine. It was a very hot day in Ireland and a very hot day in England, and maybe it was the combination of travelling and warm weather."He seems to be in good form and has come out of it well."
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