Ribchester will aid Fahey's decision over Breeders' Cup Mile

RICHARD FAHEY'S stable star Ribchester could yet head to America for a final swansong before being retired to stud.

Trainer Richard Fahey with star racehorse Ribchester during an open day at the Malton Festival of Racing last month (Picture: Tony Johnson).

Though Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation confirmed that the four-year-old will take up stallion duties next year, Fahey is still unsure whether to run the colt in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Del Mar, California, a week on Saturday.

The Malton trainer is still assessing the form and fitness of the four-time Group One winner who was runner-up in Ascot’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Saturday for a second successive year.

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Unsuitably soft going was blamed for the horse’s defeat to John Gosden’s filly Persuasive.

The son of Iffraaj will command a fee of €30,000 at stud.

Fahey said: “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.

“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.

“I would be more than happy to take him. We’ll give him a couple of canters this week and see how he his.

“If any horse could do it, it is Ribchester. He’s extremely tough and loves his job and loves his work.

“And let’s not be disrespectful to the winner, I’ve a feeling John Gosden is a genius and you got the feeling they were quietly confident. On the ground, she beat him fair and square.”

On training Ribchester who has won six out of 15 races, and in excess of £2.5m of prize money, Fahey added: “We just feel very privileged to have had him and I’m sure he’ll be a super stallion.

“Without wanting to disrespect any of the other horses we’ve trained, the ratings tell you he’s the best we’ve had, so it’s very easy to say that.”

Cracksman, winner of York’s Great Voltigeur Stakes, has officially been rated as the best horse in Europe following his brilliant performance in the Qipco Champion Stakes.

His mark of 130 puts the John Gosden-trained Frankel colt 2lb ahead of his dual Classic-winning stablemate Enable (128), who also won the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Yorkshire Oaks and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe this season under Frankie Dettori.

Officials at Cheltenham have announced a change to entry conditions for amateur riders taking part in the Kim Muir and the Foxhunter Chase at next year’s Festival.

From 2018 onwards, the two prestigious amateur events will be restricted to riders holding a category B permit, bringing the races in line with the National Hunt Chase.

It effectively forbids riders like Victoria Pendleton competing at Cheltenham with minimal riding experience. The former Olympic cycling champion took part in the Foxhunter Chase last year as part of a promotion with a leading online bookmaker.