Time up for Ribchester


It has been confirmed that Richard Fahey’s leading miler Ribchester will retire to stand at stud next year, but he may still have a swansong in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

It was confirmed on Tuesday morning that the son of Iffraaj will take up stallion duties next year at Kildangan Stud in Ireland, where he is set to command a fee of 30,000 euros.

Owners Godolphin have elected to leave any decision on going to America in the hands of their trainer, and Fahey says he’ll make that call in the coming days when he assesses Ribchester’s well-being.

The five-year-old was hoping for a fourth Group 1 success of the year over the mile in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, but he was denied by Frankie Dettori on the John Gosden-trained filly Persuasive.

In the aftermath of that race, Fahey suggested he’d like one more run this season on good ground, if Sheikh Mohammed and Godolphin gave him that opportunity.

Ribchester is 4/1 to win the Breeders’ Cup Mile and the decision on whether to go there rests with his trainer now.

“I’ve spoken to Joe (Osborne, Godolphin chief executive) who has spoken to the boss (Sheikh Mohammed). Basically, they’re leaving the decision (on the Breeders’ Cup) to me and I’m leaving it to the horse,” said Fahey.

“He seems to have come out of Ascot well, but I’m going to leave it a few more days and let him tell me whether he wants to go or not.”

World Approval is the 5/2 favourite for the Breeders’ Cup Mile, while Aidan O’Brien’s Roly Poly is a 6/1 shot.

Fahey felt the soft ground went against Ribchester in the QEII, but BHA Official Handicapper Dominic Gardiner-Hill suggests that the tactics might have contributed to his late undoing.

“My view is that the field went off too hard too early as Toscanini attempted to set the race up for Ribchester,” he wrote on the BHA website.

“In fact it was noticeable that [Frankie] Dettori took a pull after about a furlong and eased Persuasive back into midfield having originally been upsides Richard Fahey’s colt – and that was a main contributory factor to the result.”

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