JOCKEY William Buick’s celebration said it all after Yorkshire-trained Ribchester confirmed his status as the No 1 miler in racing following victory in Royal Ascot’s Queen Anne Stakes.
This county’s biggest success at the Royal meeting since Tim Easterby’s Fayr Jag won the 2004 Diamond Jubilee Stakes, Buick saluted the crowd as the Richard Fahey-trained champion flashed passed the post in a new course record on sun-drenched turf.
A notable win for Sheikh Mohammed 40 years to the day after the ruler of Dubai won his first race in Britain courtesy of Hatta at Brighton, the victory took the four-year-old colt’s career earnings to just short of £2m and Ribchester’s value will increase even further when he’s retired to stud to begin a career as a top-class stallion.
“He’s an exceptional miler, of course he’s got lots of quality but he travels so well and sees it out so well,” said Buick, after hailing the win as a career highlight.
“You’ve got to hand it to the horse, he’s an absolute jockey’s dream. It doesn’t get much better than this, it’s the biggest week in our sport and to wear the royal blue for Sheikh Mohammed here is absolutely fantastic.
“He’s the best miler I’ve ridden, and as good as any that are out there at the moment.”
You’ve got to hand it to the horse, he’s an absolute jockey’s dream. It doesn’t get much better than this, it’s the biggest week in our sport and to wear the royal blue for Sheikh Mohammed here is absolutely fantastic.William Buick
The ecstatic reaction of a nerveless Buick was in contrast to the relief which was etched across the face of Fahey as the Malton trainer took his own career to new heights.
Fahey’s first Group One winner at Royal Ascot, he also had to contend with the added pressure of training the favourite for a Group One race which was won five years ago by the incomparable Frankel.
“It was good pressure to have, he was not odds-on in the end and he was the right horse to have the pressure with as sometimes you get favourites that can’t win. I’m in a happy place at the minute,” he added.
“He’s got to be the best I’ve trained – especially breaking the track record – and that is not being disrespectful to other horses.”
Ascot news: Page 20