JAMES Doyle will be reunited with Ribchester when Richard Fahey’s stable star seeks a fourth Group One triumph tomorrow.
Doyle – who partnered the colt to victory at Newbury two years ago – replaces regular rider William Buick who remains on the injury sidelines following Permian’s fatal fall in Chicago last month.
Yet Fahey is taking nothing for granted after Ribchester’s surprising reverse to the outsider Here Comes When in last month’s Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on heavy ground.
He only considered tomorrow’s Qatar Prix du Moulin at Chantilly because the Sheikh Mohammed-owned Ribchester seems so well himself on the gallops at his Malton stables.
“We’re very happy with him and we’ll go there and see what happens,” said Fahey.
“Things didn’t work out at Goodwood, obviously, but we’re just drawing a line through it and moving on.
“James has ridden the horse before and won on him, so that’s not a problem.
“We’ve been pleased with the horse since Goodwood and we’re looking forward to it.”
If Ribchester wins, he will eclipse the three victories at the highest level recorded by Collier Hill from the Richmond stables of the late Alan Swinbank.
Seven rivals stand in the way of the winner of Royal Ascot’s Queen Anne Stakes, with the Owen Burrows-trained Massaat, Harry Dunlop’s Robin Of Navan and Lightning Spear from David Simcock’s yard also making the journey across the Channel.
The latter got up on the line a fortnight ago to win Goodwood’s Celebration Mile under Oisin Murphy who hopes to celebrate his 22nd birthday this week with a first success at Group One level.
Tomorrow’s meeting at Chantilly, which sees trials for next month’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, is the second day of a stellar weekend of international racing Europe.
There’s the Sprint Cup at Haydock – the best of Fahey’s four runners could be Growl who will relish the conditions – while Ireland’s champions weekend sees Aidan O’Brien’s dual Guineas winners Churchill line up in tonight’s Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.
Yorkshire challenges tomorrow include Caspian Price who could be heading to America if he prospers in the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh.
The Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Del Mar on November 4 is the ultimate objective for the eight-year-old speedster, who took the scalp of subsequent Nunthorpe Stakes heroine Marsha on his last trip to the Curragh in the Sapphire Stakes in July.
Malton-based trainer Tony Coyle said: “He’s in good order, he’s ready to go and he’s in good form.
“He looks well and he’s working well so it’s all systems go.
“We gave him a break and he was never going to go to York for the Nunthorpe. He doesn’t seem to like it there. He’s been there twice and not run very well.
“It’s a serious pot at the Curragh and he goes on any ground, but we would rather have it firm. He rattles off it.
“If he wins on Sunday, he’ll go to America for the Breeders’ Cup. It’s a win-and-you’re-in race.
“That’s why he’s not even entered for the Prix de l’Abbaye. He can’t do all three races. There’s the quarantine as well. That’s the plan.”
Richard Fahey’s former Ayr Gold Cup hero Don’t Touch, Kevin Ryan’s Tommy Taylor and David O’Meara’s Intisaab are among the Yorkshire entries in tomorrow’s feature Garrowby Stakes at York.
The day the Queen won the St Leger – see The Yorkshire Post on Monday.