Ribchester justifies favouritism in Lockinge Stakes

Ribchester recorded the first win of his four-year-old season

Ribchester, trained by Richard Fahey and ridden by William Buick, has won the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.

The 7-4 favourite was forced to make the running after expected pacemaker Toscanini, from the same stable, missed the break.

The Godolphin-owned four-year-old kept finding more in front and was far too strong for the opposition in the first British Group One race of the season for older horses.

Ribchester kept up the gallop in admirable style to score by three and three-quarter lengths from the David Simcock-trained Lightning Spear (9-2).

Breton Rock, a stablemate of the runner-up, was another two and a half lengths away in third at odds of 25-1.

Aidan O'Brien's raider Somehow finished fourth, with Galileo Gold a disappointing fifth.

Speaking after, Buick said: "He's a very good horse, very versatile.

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"Richard and his team at home have done a fantastic job with him.

"He's getting mentally better and physically stronger every day.

"If you are going to compete in these Group One races and be successful, you have to be the complete package.

"He's a horse I'm very, very happy to ride."

Ribchester was roundly cut in the betting for the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, for which he is trading as the 7-4 favourite with Paddy Power.

Fahey said: "It's (a race) you'd liked to watch again. I was quite nervous as it was a big day and we wanted him to perform.

"He (Toscanini) missed the kick but I always felt Ribchester could do something like that.

"Ribchester is mentally mature and he's physically getting better.

"We've always liked him. He's gone a bit lazy on me at home, but we are happy where he is now.

"It looks like we will go there (Queen Anne) but I won't say definitely as we've got to speak to John (Ferguson, Godolphin racing manager) and Sheikh Mohammed. We'll see how he comes out of this, but the Queen Anne looks likely.

"I've got to say he's the best horse I've ever trained."

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