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Ribchester seeks eighth Lockinge for Godolphin

Fahey to employ pace maker in what promises to be a tactical battle

Gulf News

Dubai Godolphin have a good portfolio of winners in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury and Ribchester can add to that impressive record by winning Saturday’s renewal of the Group 1 contest over a mile.

Ribchester won the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury as a two-year-old and his trainer, Richard Fahey, is confident that experience will play to his strengths in his first race as a four-year-old.

In what promises to be a highly tactical race, Godolphin will use the services of the Michael Halford-trained Toscanini (Paul Hanagan) as a pace maker for the first time.

“I have been very happy with Ribchester since he returned from Dubai,” said Fahey. “I think he has matured. He’s very well in himself and his work has been good.

“If everything drops right, I am quietly confident he can win the Lockinge,”

On his most recent start at Meydan on Dubai World Cup night, Ribchester (William Buick) finished an excellent third to Japanese-trained Vivios in the Group 1 Dubai Turf, only beaten a length by the winner.

“We thought about giving him a break after Dubai but he came back so fresh and well that we carried on and did not back off too much,” added Fahey. “Physically he looks better this year and physically he is starting to mature.

“We are happy and everything is going easy with him.”

Godolphin have a third runner, the Charlie Hills-trained Dutch Connection (Adam Kirby), in a race that has attracted the cream of Britain’s milers led by last year’s G1 2,000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes third Lightning Spear and Dahlia Stakes heroine Somehow.

Godolphin have won the Lockinge on seven occasion in the past with Cape Cross (1998), Fly to the Stars (1999), Aljabr (2000), Creachadoir (2008), Farhh (2013), Night of Thunder (2015), Belardo (2016)

Latest Odds

Ribchester (15/8), Galileo Gold (3/1), Lightning Spear (5/1), Somehow (5/1), Aclaim (9/1), Dutch Connection (16/1), Mitchum Swagger (33/1), Breton Rock (40/1), Toscanini (50/1)