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Saturday, 20 October, 2018

So, just how did Here Comes When beat Ribchester?

Richard Birch scratches the surface of an unexpected outcome

Here Comes When (second right) hold Ribchester (right)
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Big-race history confirms that anything can happen on ground softened by torrential rain in the lead-up to a Group 1, so Here Comes When’s 20-1 victory in the Qatar Sussex Stakes was hardly the biggest shock of all time.

Although he had 15lb to find with Ribchester on official ratings, soft ground is a great leveller – the winner clearly relished underfoot conditions, while Ribchester lacked the spark which characterised his Newbury and Royal Ascot wins.

All of Here Comes When’s best previous performances had come with plenty of cut, and he simply raised his game under ideal conditions, aided by a copybook ride from champion Jim Crowley, to clinch the biggest victory of his career.

And in glorious hindsight, he had been beaten less than four lengths into fourth behind the wonderfully talented Solow in this race two years ago on a much faster surface, so there was genuine substance to his Group 1 form.

Perhaps most punters simply didn’t delve deep enough.


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The winner clearly relished underfoot conditions, while Ribchester lacked the spark which characterised his Newbury and Royal Ascot wins
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