Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Bookies Braced for Rib Body Blow

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Bookies Braced for Rib Body Blow

Article excerpt

RIBCHESTER can get favourite-backers off to a perfect start by landing the opening event at Royal Ascot, the Queen Anne Stakes.

A winner at the meeting last year in the Jersey Stakes, he went on to prove himself as one of the best milers in Europe when successful in the Prix Jacques le Marois.

His best effort might have been when narrowly failing to reel in Minding in the QEII, but he has returned this year better than ever.

Richard Fahey sent him to Dubai but he just failed to see out nine furlongs in the Dubai Turf, beaten a length by the Japanese horse Vivlos.

In the Lockinge at Newbury, though, Ribchester quite simply looked in a different league to his rivals.

Even though his pacemaker Toscanini missed the kick and could not get to the front, he dictated matters under William Buick winning by nearly four lengths.

This is likely to be the fastest going he has run on but he will get the ground in the best possible shape and can enhance his reputation.

Nebo could surprise a few highly-touted rivals in the Coventry Stakes for Charlie Hills and champion jockey Jim Crowley.

A really impressive winner on his debut, he was immediately put away with this race in mind.

The form of his maiden could not have worked out any better. The second, sixth, seventh and even the 13th horse home have since won, with several others going close.

His victory did come on soft ground but being by Kodiac, the quicker surface should not be any problem.

The King's Stand looks a cracker, with previous winners Goldream and Profitable as well as Lady Aurelia lining up, but it is fair to say Sir Mark Prescott's Marsha is the leading home hope.

This time last year it looked like connections had no more than a decent sprinter on their hands when she won a Richard Fahey Listed race at Ayr, but her progression has gone through the roof. …

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