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Fahey hoping for another go with Ribchester on quicker ground

Ribchester (noseband) is no match for Persuasive on soft ground in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot
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Ribchester has emerged from Saturday's bruising QEII defeat in fighting form and might not have finished for the year, although Richard Fahey is unlikely to know until later in the week if Sheikh Mohammed is happy to give him another chance on the fast ground he prefers.

If the four-year-old pleases when exercised later in the week Fahey would love to run him again in one of three possible races. He would also dearly love to race him for another year before he retires to stud, although that decision will also be out of his hands.

Fahey said on Sunday: "He's come out of the race great. He left one nut – he mustn't have known it was in the pot - and he trotted up well.

"He's a tough cookie, with a great constitution, and we'll probably give him a canter on Tuesday or Wednesday and then sit down and have a chat. I'd just love to give him another opportunity on good ground. His best performance was in the Queen Anne, and I'd love the opportunity to run him once more on ground like that.

"I always feel that when we have to run on soft ground it slows the rhythm of the race down and blunts his speed a bit. I'm not being disrespectful to Persuasive though. That was some turn of foot she showed yesterday and they have a great habit of finding those good fillies at Cheveley Park Stud, and John Gosden training them. They're a great firm."

While the Breeders' Cup Mile at Del Mar would be an obvious end-of-season target for Ribchester, should he race again, it is not the only possibility.

Fahey said: "There are three options. It's not just Del Mar as there's Japan and Hong Kong too, but we'll have to see how he is and what they say."

Some felt Ribchester was committed plenty soon enough on Saturday, but Fahey was quick to defend rider William Buick.

He said: "He's just an enthusiastic racehorse. He goes from nought to 35 in four strides, and he's the same at home. I've never known a horse like him. He has to go in front because he can't go slow. He's like a supercar, and when you touch the pedal he's gone.

"We've tried to get him to go slower, and he's better than he was at two, when he was doing 38 in four strides, but it's a hard thing to explain.

"I think the lads are riding him really well. He just wants to get on with it, and it's not in a free sort of way. He just cannot go slow and we aren't going to change that now."

Looking further ahead, Fahey said: "If you ask me whether I'd like to train Ribchester next year, then yes I would, but I don't know the economics of that side of things. It's completely out of my hands."

He can't go slow. He goes from nought to 35 in four strides. He's like a supercar, and when you touch the pedal he's gone
E.W. Terms
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