Fahey eyes Deauville's lucrative prize
Richard Fahey can barely wait for Sunday as he prepares Ribchester for a third meeting with Galileo Gold in the Prix Jacques Le Marois.
"I'm very, very happy, couldn't really be any happier," said the trainer (right) after watching his colt's latest gallop on the Malton gallops. "He did a little half-speed work, a leg stretch rather than anything more serious, and he is as fit as a bean anyway."
The mile division of the Classic generation has been a cut and thrust affair this season. Galileo Gold ruled at Newmarket and at Royal Ascot, while The Gurkha hit back in Goodwood's Sussex Stakes.
The pair were separated by a neck that day, but Ribchester was the eye-catcher of the field as he bore down on those smart rivals to finish third. He had filled the same spot behind Galileo Gold in the 2,000 Guineas.
"I don't think much went wrong at Goodwood and we're looking forward to having another crack," Fahey said. "The track shouldn't make any difference. I think this is a proper Group One horse and hopefully he'll become that sooner, rather than later."
Anticipation of a great contest was heightened when owners Al Shaqab reported that Galileo Gold worked "brilliantly" yesterday and that it was "all systems go" for Deauville.
Aidan O'Brien reports that Hit It A Bomb will make his first appearance since his Breeders' Cup heroics last October in the Invesco Consultants Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown tomorrow, instead of running at Newbury two days later.
The War Front colt stretched his unbeaten record to three in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Keeneland and while he has not been seen in competitive action this year, he holds a host of big-race engagements for the second half of the season.
Hit It A Bomb holds an entry in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury, but he is set to make his comeback closer to home. O'Brien also has Cougar Mountain, The Happy Prince and Air Vice Marshal engaged in the Hungerford, but he is not certain to be represented in Berkshire.
"He (Hit It A Bomb) goes for the Desmond," said the Ballydoyle handler.
"Cougar Mountain is a possible (for the Hungerford) but I'm not sure if we'll go with anything. It's more unlikely than likely."
Meanwhile, Willie Mullins has confirmed ante-post favourite Ivan Grozny firmly on course for Saturday week's Ebor. The talented dual-purpose performer bolted up at Aintree's Grand National meeting in the spring before landing a Grade Three hurdle at Tipperary at the start of July.
He reverted to the Flat at the Galway Festival three weeks later and was just as impressive. Mullins said: "Ivan Grozny is definitely coming (to York) and seems in good form after his recent run in Galway."
The Closutton supremo could also saddle the veteran Simenon in the prestigious handicap. Stablemate Renneti is rated 90 and is very unlikely to make the cut.