3.15 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, 1m, Group 1
Ribchester is undoubtedly a phenomenal horse. Richard Fahey’s best ever and one of the best milers we have seen in recent seasons.
However, he’s also a very quirky type and never does things the easy way, especially at Ascot with the stiff run in. He’s won on all types of ground, but is seen to best effect on a sound surface.
Perhaps foolishly I’m looking to take him on on Saturday. I think he’s vulnerable in a lot of his races, but his class sees him home, just about. While he wins more often than not, at 2-1 I can’t measure that up to a bet.
In the Lockinge he was dominant, but faced nothing at this level. At Royal Ascot he looked a cosy winner before wobbling in the final strides and very nearly allowing Mutakayyef through.
At Goodwood he lost his unbeaten record this season in a joke of a race. A farce it may have been but he didn’t get home, at 8-13… He was given a break after that and to his credit his comeback in France was solid enough.
But there’s enough doubt creeping in from those efforts. I may be nitpicking, but at 2-1 a fine comb is the least you can do.
I’m siding with Beat The Bank. He has it all to do dining at the top table, but he’s left a huge impression to the eye and on the clock, both at Goodwood and then in his romp in the Joel Stakes more recently.
The 3yo is proven in testing conditions and is improving at a rate of speed. He hasn’t had an overly tasking season and this would have been in the back of connections minds for a while. He’s a strong finisher and there should be plenty of pace for him to aim at.
He failed here at Royal Ascot, but raced completely the wrong side and was unsuited by the flying quick ground and has clearly grown up plenty since that point in the summer. I can see him drifting tomorrow and at 5-1 or thereabouts I’m more than happy to take an EW chance on him edging past Ribchester.
Churchill has yet to fire this campaign and you have to worry in regards to him. A drop to a mile should be of benefit, but not enough that he sees any of my money in the near future.
Thunder Snow looks an EW proposition for those that way inclined. He was beaten less than a length by Al Wukair last time out and the price difference is crazy in comparison.
Beat The Bank 5-1 (Betfair, Stan James)
Thunder Snow 16-1 (Everywhere)