Ribchester repels Jacques le Marois rivals
Richard Fahey described landing the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville as "the biggest win of my career" as 37-10 shot Ribchester secured a first Group One victory.
The Godolphin-owned colt looked unlucky when finishing like a proverbial train in the Sussex Stakes and backed up that view by comprehensively turning the tables with Galileo Gold, who ran too freely under Frankie Dettori.
It was Andre Fabre's Vadamos (42-10) that proved the biggest obstacle to overcome for William Buick and Ribchester, but they did so with a smart change of gear to seize the advantage inside the distance and score going away by three-quarters of a length.
Ervedya (58-10) came from a long way back to finish as well as anything in third, while German challenger Spectre was only just denied by that rival in a photo-finish.
Buick, who had flown to France from Chicago after riding in Saturday's Arlington Million, gave Ribchester a congratulatory pat down the neck as the combination crossed the line in front of a packed crowd at the Normandy course.
Fahey said: "He's incredible and came here in top form.
"He has a lot of class and a lot of speed.
"It's probably the biggest win of my career and I'm very pleased, of course.
"It looked like he was going to win easily, but he had to battle a bit, and that's good as it will help him to mature.
"We were very worried about the (low) draw, because the ground appeared to be a fair bit quicker on the far side, but needn't have been.
"He will probably go to Ascot now for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
"I'll have to speak to John (Ferguson, Godolphin racing manager), but I don't think the Breeders' Cup is on the agenda at present."
Connections of Galileo Gold felt the Classic hero was too keen to do himself justice.
Harry Herbert, racing manager for owners Al Shaqab Racing, said: "He was just too free early and had no cover.
"Ideally it would have been nice to follow something, but he got very lit up and ran with the choke out.
"He was very relaxed before the race, but completely out of rhythm in front on a straight track, where there's nowhere to hide.
"Let's see how he comes out of it, but I think he can have a mini-break and then we can look to run in the QEII."
Andre Fabre was pleased with the performance of the runner-up.
The French maestro also saddled last year's winner Esoterique, who finished sixth this time.
Fabre said: "Vadamos had been working with a lot of enthusiasm going into the race and I was confident of a big run from him.
"He settled into his rhythm and came there to win. I think he has done everything right and there are many options ahead both in France and abroad.
"Esoterique was a little disappointing. She had a nice position early on, but couldn't quicken this time.
"We will have to see how she is."
Ervedya came from a long way back to finish as well as anything in third, while German challenger Spectre was only just denied by that rival in a photo-finish.