Glorious Goodwood Day 2 Preview
Taking on three individual Classic winners at their pet distance is a huge task for even the most talented, but trainer Richard Fahey remains optimistic that Ribchester is equal to the task in the G1 Sussex Stakes, the highlight of the second day at Glorious Goodwood.
Godolphin-owned Ribchester impressed greatly when carrying a 5lb penalty to a resounding victory in the G3 Jersey Stakes, over seven furlongs at Royal Ascot last month.
This followed an excellent third to Galileo Gold and Massaat in the G1 2,000 Guineas at the end of April. This improving Iffraaj colt has been sending out all the right signals at Fahey's base on the outskirts of Malton, Yorkshire.
"I am very, very happy with him," Fahey told the Godolphin website. "He is progressing like we thought he would after his strong win in the Jersey.
"There is a slight question mark about the ground because he has never encountered it (fast), and it is a strong renewal. But, he goes into the race in good order," the trainer added.
Galileo Gold was too strong for the The Gurkha and Awtaad in their previous clash, in the G1 St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, but this is a faster track that will suit the speedster, who can position himself well in the early stages and then produce a finishing kick in the straight.
The winners of the English, French and Irish Guineas are showing the capacity to keep coming back after tough races, which is to their great credit.
Ribchester, who finished three and a half lengths behind Galileo Gold in the Newmarket Guineas, could be the horse to worry them this time -- if he copes with the fast ground. He faces nine rivals in what appears a very strong G1 on paper.
Godolphin also run the tough campaigner Toormore, trained by Richard Hannon, and Richard Pankhurst, sent out by John Gosden.
Hannon always manages to get five-year-old Toormore 'peaking,' or near his peak, for this meeting. "He loves the Goodwood track, having won at this Festival twice before," Hannon said.
"He is taking on a strong batch of three-year-olds, but I am hopeful of a good performance," he added.
Gosden is also upbeat about Richard Pankhurst's prospects, though he, too, recognises the depth of talent in this G1 field.
"Richard Pankhurst has come on for his race at Ascot. Obviously, this is a tough assignment, but I am hopeful that he can run well," Gosden told Godolphin.com.