05/20/2017 1:36PM

Ribchester dominates England's J.T. Lockinge Stakes


Ribchester made all the running and thoroughly dominated his seven rivals Saturday at Newbury Racecourse, winning the Group 1 J.T. Lockinge Stakes by 3 3/4 lengths over Lightning Spear.

Trained by Richard Fahey for Godolphin, Ribchester was supposed to settle in behind his pacemaker Toscanini, but Toscanini totally blew the break leaving Ribchester to cut out the pace under William Buick. Ribchester led a line of six horses running down the center of Newbury’s straight course as Galileo Gold, also racing near the front end, went over to the stand’s side rail under Frankie Dettori.

With a quarter-mile to run, however, Galileo Gold began losing his position as Ribchester continued churning along, drifting over to the stand’s rail while steadily lengthening his advantage to the wire. Racing over a soft course that appeared to exhaust much of the field – runner-up Lightning Spear included – Ribchester was timed in a slow 1:43 for the undulating one-mile trip.

Well behind Lightning Spear came third-place Breton Rock, who was followed by the Aidan O’Brien-trained filly Somehow and Galileo Gold.

Ribchester, a 4-year-old by Iffraaj out of Mujarah, by Marju, now is a good 4-3-3 from 11 starts; he won his second Group 1 to go with the Jacques le Marois last summer at Deauville. Third in the $6 million Dubai Turf over 1 1/8 miles to start his season, Ribchester showed again he is one of the world’s leading milers, and though Fahey remains convinced his charge will stay 1 1/4 miles, a natural next target for the colt is the one-mile, straight-course Queen Anne on opening day of the Royal Ascot meet.