Dubai: Godolphin’s Ribchester made amends for his shock loss in last month’s Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, England by posting an emphatic victory in Sunday’s Group 1 €450,000 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp at Chantilly, France late in the evening.
The virtuoso performance left no doubt that the four-year-old British-trained colt was the best mile in Europe and now the leading contender for the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot (October 2) and the Breeder’s Cup Mile at Del Mar (November 3).
With the in-form James Doyle in the saddle, Richard Fahey’s stable star scored by ¾lengths from Taareef, the mount of French champion Christophe Soumillon, the pair finishing 3 ½ lengths clear of third placed Massaat.
Both Taareef and Massaat raced in the colours of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, who was looking for a second Prix du Moulin following Aqlaam’s triumph in 2009.
Faheym who trains Ribchester in North Yorkshire, commented: “It is just nice to see Ribchester win again. I was very happy with the victory.
“He does not make it easy for his rider, but I think he gets bit lonely out in front.
“He was hardly blowing afterwards and has got a lot of ability. You never feel the tank is empty — he is a very tough horse.
“He coped with the soft ground but is better on a sounder surface.
“We will be aiming him towards the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot (G1, October 21) and then consider the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1, Del Mar, November 4) in California two weeks after that.”
Doyle, who has been in irresistible form, added: “Ribchester played with Taareef at finish, after waiting for his company. He is certainly the best miler in Europe.”
Meanwhile, Godolphin Cloth Of Stars finished a noteworthy second behind German raider Dschingis Secret in a competitive renewal of the Group 2 Prix Foy also run on the same card,
Ridden by Mickael Barzalona, Cloth Of Stars finish just ahead of another Godolphin hopeful Talismanicm the mount of Vincent Cheminaud.
Lisa-Jane Graffard of Godolphin said on the stable’s website: “Cloth Of Stars has been kept back for an end of season campaign and ran a fantastic race.
“He was a bit keen early on and did not get room at a crucial point.
“He probably needed the outing and hopefully this will set him up for a tilt at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (12f, G1, Chantilly, October 1), all being well.
“Talismanic ran another good race but showed his limitations behind two G1 performers.
“He takes his races very well and we will be looking at an international campaign for him at some point.”