The 2017 Queen Anne Stakes kicked off a busy first day of action at the Royal Ascot Meet and saw 16 hopefuls take to the gates. But it was 4/5 favorite Ribchester who was unrelenting in his pursuit of victory in the Group 1 race. Godolphin Racing expects nothing but the best out of their elite talent, and that’s exactly what they got on this day.
The oddsmakers had designed the lines to be top heavy with Ribchester going off as a strong preference followed by 5/1 second choice Lightning Spear. However, Lightning Spear was poor in this effort and finished 9th overall. He gave way to Mutkayyef, who finished 2nd at 6/1, and 12/1 outside shot Deauville who is trained by Aiden O’Brien.
Jockey William Buick was aboard for the win and couldn’t say enough about how powerful Ribchester was over the one-mile turf challenge. “You’ve got to hand it to the horse, he’s an absolute jockey’s dream,” Buick stated. “It doesn’t get much better than this. This is the biggest week for our sport and to wear the royal blue here. We’re all working towards one goal. We’re all working to get to the winner’s enclosure. That’s what Sheikh Mohammed deserves.”
Trainer Richard Fahey also beamed at the four-year-old colt’s potential, saying that he has much more left to offer. “Look Ribchester is just an exceptional horse,” Fahey exclaimed. “He has to be the best horse I have ever trained,” winning trainer Richard Fahey said. He broke the track record here today and that’s not being disrespectful to the others, but he is just exceptional.
Fahey went on to say that the 2017 Queen Anne Stakes was just the beginning, and after conferring with his jockey, he knows where the end game for the season is. “William doesn’t feel that the tank is empty with him and that he is getting stronger the whole time. The Sussex Stakes is where he has to go really. I was always hoping that he would stay further but at the moment, I don’t need to go further.”
With the 2017 Queen Anne Stakes victory, Ribchester is now 5-3-3 in 12 starts and has posted back-to-back wins in Group 1 races.