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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Godolphin's Ribchester earmarked for Queen Elizabeth II Stakes after Prix du Moulin victory

A good day for Emirati owners as Bateel lands the Prix Vermeille for Al Asayl Stables in Chantilly

Ribchester won the Prix du Moulin - his fourth Group 1 prize - at the Chantilly racetrack on Sunday. Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse
Ribchester won the Prix du Moulin - his fourth Group 1 prize - at the Chantilly racetrack on Sunday. Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse

Ribchester bounced back from last month’s shock defeat in the Sussex Stakes to land the Prix du Moulin - his fourth Group 1 prize - at the Chantilly racetrack in France on Sunday.

James Doyle on the Godolphin horse took up the running from the 400-metre mark to take the 1,600m contest from the Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid-owned pair Taareef and Massaat.

Richard Fahey, the winning trainer, has now earmarked next month’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot and a crack at the Breeders’ Cup Mile in the United States for the four-year-old son of Iffraaj.

“He doesn’t do much in front and gets a bit wayward, but that was a good performance today,” Fahey said.

“He coped with the [soft] ground but he’s definitely better on a sounder surface given the choice.

“The QEII is now the definite target, and if he was mine I would definitely think about running him in the Breeders’ Cup Mile a couple of weeks later, but we’ll discuss that with his owners.”

It was an excellent day for Emirati owners at Chantilly as Bateel took the day's other Group 1 prize for Al Asayl Stables of Abu Dhabi.

Trained in France by Francis-Henry Graffard and ridden by Pierre-Charles Boudot in the silks of Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa, Bateel romped home by two and-a-half lengths in the Prix Vermeille.

Journey, under Frankie Dettori, finished second ahead of Left Hand, winner of the race 12 months ago. Godolphin pair Strathspey was fifth and Endless Time second last in the 11-runner field.

Aidan O’Brien claimed two Group 1 wins in Ireland with Order Of St George taking the Irish St Leger and Happily succeeding in the Moyglare Stud Stakes.

In between, the trainer-jockey combination of Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning took the Group 1 National Stakes with Verbal Dexterity.

Ryan Moore drew clear on Order Of St George to win the St Leger by nine lengths from Torcedo and Mount Moriah after the trainer’s son, Donnacha O'Brien, atop Happily led a 1-2-3 finish for the Ballydoyle Stables in the Group 1 race for the fillies.

Order Of St George won the Irish St Leger in 2015 and was runner-up 12 months ago.

His second win in the race means the five-year-old son of Galileo joins fellow two-timer winners Vintage Crop, Oscar Schindler and Kayf Tara, while Vinnie Roe holds the record with four wins.