The British challenge looked to hold all the aces in this year’s running of the Prix Jacques le Marois – with Sussex Stakes runner-up and third renewing rivalry just 17 days on from their thrilling battle. This time around the placings would be reversed spectacularly as Ribchester, the fast-finisher at Goodwood made no mistake in claiming his first Group 1 on Deauville’s straight mile.
The Richard Fahey inmate was settled just in behind the leaders under William Buick in the early stages. British 2,000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold, as expected was to the fore racing keenly in the hands of Frankie Dettori while the Qatar Racing-owned Arod also took close order and led his 10 rivals at halfway.
As the pace quickened into the final two furlongs, Ribchester was angled out by Buick travelling well while Galileo Gold was joined on the far side by the Andre Fabre-trained Vadamos.
As Galileo Gold began to weaken the Jersey Stakes winner came with a sustained run in the final furlong edging out Vadamos by half-a-length at the winning line with Jean-Claude Rouget’s Ervedya making some headway from the rear into third.
Buick was in the saddle only hours earlier in the Arlington Million, finishing a disappointing eighth on Tryster in the Grade 1 contest behind Yorkshire-based winner Mondialiste. The 28-year-old was tasting his second Group 1 of the season his first having come with Hawkbill in last month’s Coral Eclipse.
Ribchester himself a son of Iffraaj, had demonstrated a steady level of progression up until this point having secured an impressive triumph in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
The best of his career came last time out when coming with a late rattle in the Sussex Stakes, finishing only half-a-length behind the winner that day The Gurkha. Yet, having already finished twice behind Galileo Gold in the 2,000 Guineas and at Glorious Goodwood little error was made in enacting his revenge.
Malton trainer Richard Fahey went close in a Group 1 at Deauville last weekend as the Middleham Park-owned Donjuan Triumphant couldn’t quite get on terms with Signs Of Blessing in the Prix Maurice de Gheest.
This success comes as Fahey’s fourth win at the highest level following on from his last two, Garswood and Mayson, both of whom sported the red silks of David Armstrong. This will no doubt put the team on a high as they go into one of their most favourite meetings of the year, the York Ebor festival.
The overseas challenge solely from Britain was four-pronged and outside the winner the race didn’t seem to go to plan. The Ed Walker-trained Stormy Antarctic, who came back to form last time in the Prix Jean Prat faired best of the remainder in seventh, while Galileo Gold seemed to be feeling the effects of a busy campaign one place behind.
Sheikh Fahad’s pair, Arod and Lightening Spear, made little impact at the business end in a race which has now escaped the clutches of the French for a third time in ten years.