Prix du Moulin de Longchamp at Chantilly, France
Ribchester consolidated his position as Europe’s top miler by gaining a fourth G1 victory in the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp at Chantilly, France, on Sunday, September 10.
The four-year-old Iffraaj colt, unlucky in the G1 Sussex Stakes on his previous start, made no mistake this time.
Ribchester, trained by Richard Fahey and with James Doyle in the saddle, raced a close second as Robin Of Navan led.
He moved up with two furlongs remaining and soon took over in front.
Taareef came to challenge in the final furlong but Ribchester was always in command, running on to win by three quarters of a lengths in 1m 40.75s on soft ground, the pair three and a half lengths clear of the third Massaat.
Richard Fahey commented: “It is just nice to see Ribchester win again. I was very happy with the victory.
“He does not make it easy for his rider, but I think he gets bit lonely out in front.
“He was hardly blowing afterwards and has got a lot of ability. You never feel the tank is empty – he is a very tough horse.
“He coped with the soft ground but is better on a sounder surface.
“We will be aiming him towards the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot (G1, October 21) and then consider the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1, Del Mar, November 4) in California two weeks after that.”
James Doyle added: “Ribchester played with Taareef at finish, after waiting for his company. He is certainly the best miler in Europe.”
G2 Prix Foy at Chantilly, France
The two Andre Fabre-trained four-year-olds raced at the rear of the six-strong field for the 12-furlng contest before making progress in the straight.
Cloth Of Stars, having his first appearance winning the G1 Prix Ganay over an extended 10 furlongs at Saint-Cloud on May 1, had the more troubled passage after racing a bit keenly on the inner in last place.
He did not have much room around the furlong marker to make a challenge but ran on to gain second by a neck from Talismanic, who was settled in fifth towards the outside and then came with a good run from two furlongs out. Neither could get to grips with the length and a half winner Dschingis Secret, whose time came to 2m 35.88s in soft ground.
Lisa-Jane Graffard of Godolphin said: “Cloth Of Stars has been kept back for an end of season campaign and ran a fantastic race.
“He was a bit keen early on and did not get room at a crucial point.
“He probably needed the outing and hopefully this will set him up for a tilt at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (12f, G1, Chantilly, October 1), all being well.
“Talismanic ran another good race but showed his limitations behind two G1 performers.
“He takes his races very well and we will be looking at an international campaign for him at some point.”
G3 Prix Gladiateur
Vazirabad (Manduro) is a wonderfully consistent performer, finishing out of the first two just twice in 17 starts, and on Sunday, 10 September he recorded an outstanding tenth Group win when taking the G3 Prix Gladiateur for the second straight year.
Settled in his customary position towards the rear of the field, the five-year-old loomed up as they entered the home straight and despite jinking slightly close to home, he stayed on to win by three quarters of a length.
Vazirabad is now the best male racehorse in the world by number of Group wins since 2015 and is second only to the Darley-sired duo Winx (Street Cry) and Songbird (Medaglia d’Oro) in the overall standings.
Vazirabad won his first Group race in September 2015, landing the G3 Prix du Lutece before taking the G2 Prix Chaudenay and then the G1 Prix Royal-Oak the same year. Last year he won the G2 Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan, the G2 Prix Vicomtesse Vigier, the Prix Gladiateur and the G1 Prix Royal-Oak for the second time. He took the Dubai Gold Cup again this year en route to a repeat win in the Prix Vicomtesse Vigier on his last start.
Owned and bred by HH The Aga Khan, Vazirabad is a son of the G3-winning mare Visorama (Linamix) and a half-brother to the Stakes winner Visoriyna.
Manduro, the brilliant Horse of the Year and Timeform world Champion, has sired six G1 winners including French top-flight juvenile scorers Ultra and Mandaean and top fillies Ribbons and Charity Line.