Here Comes When got the better of hot favourite Godolphin’s Ribchester to run out a shock winner of in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.
Having already won the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury and the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot this season, Richard Fahey’s Ribchester was unsurprisingly a warm order to complete a Group One hat-trick, especially after the late withdrawal of dual 2000 Guineas winner Churchill.
The favourite made much of the running in the deteriorating conditions, but William Buick was hard at work in the saddle with two furlongs to run and the Andrew Balding-trained Here Comes When battled his way to the front in the hands of champion jockey Jim Crowley.
Just when it looked as though Ribchester was fading, he rallied to the cause, but while he was making ground again at the finish, Here Comes When held on by a neck. Lightning Spear was third.
Crowley said: “That was fantastic. Fair play to Andrew and Dr Hay (owner) for supplementing him and running him in the race. It was a brave shout and it’s really paid off.
“The rain came and he’s always been a very good horse on soft ground. Before the race I was ticking off the horses I didn’t think would go on the ground and I thought he’d definitely be in the first three.
“He got a nice tow into the race and the weather has played to his strengths. It’s heavy ground and he just loves it.
“It’s nice for him to get his head in front in a race like that.”
“He’s a very decent horse on this sort of ground. You look back through his form and he’s won two Group Twos before, he was fourth in this race a couple of years ago on ground quicker than ideal and he deserved to be in the field.
“I think he came back this year in better form than ever. When he won at York earlier in the year he was very impressive.
“On this ground, he’s stones better than he is on quicker ground.”
A philosophical Fahey said of Ribchester: “William just felt he was dropping away there two down and then he came back again. It’s extreme conditions out there, I was very worried – it’s not for a Flat horse to be racing on, it’s National Hunt horses.
“But he’s run a mighty race and he showed good heart to nearly get back up. Maybe he was a bit lonely in front and half-pulled up a bit, but that’s racing, we live to fight another day. If you could back winners today you’d be a genius, that’s why bookmakers love conditions like this. They get results and they’ve got one today. I’m disappointed, you come here expecting to win and you don’t, so you are disappointed.
“It was a strange race, I’d like to see it again.”
Three-year-old filly Sobetsu goes for further G1 glory in the 10-furlong Nassau Stakes, the feature race on day three of Glorious Goodwood Thursday.
Wuheida was also declared for the race but trainer Charlie Appleby decided to take her out due to the extremely testing conditions after heavy rainfall at Goodwood.
Sobetsu (now the mount of William Buick), by Dubawi and an impressive three-length winner of the 10-furlong G1 Prix Saint-Alary at Deauville on May 14, drops back down in distance after finishing eighth over a mile and a half in the G1 Oaks at Epsom Downs on June 2.
Seven runners are set to line up in the Nassau Stakes and they include Winter, a three-time G1 winner this season, G1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf scorer Queen’s Trust.
Appleby said: “We are coming back in trip with Sobestu and she won the Prix Saint-Alary on soft ground, so conditions could come into her favour if the rain arrives.
“If she gets her ground and can repeat her performance at Deauville, then she won’t look out of place in this line-up.”
Godolphin also has two contenders in today’s other Pattern race for fillies and mares, with Endless Time (Charlie Appleby/William Buick) and Natural Scenery (Saeed bin Suroor/Jim Crowley) going for the G3 Lillie Langtry Stakes over a mile and three quarters. Five-year-old Endless Time, beaten a half a length when second in the 12-furlong G1 Prix Vermeille at Chantilly last year, steps down in trip after fading to 10th in the G1 Gold Cup over two and a half miles at Royal Ascot on June 22.
Appleby added: “Endless Time won a G2 on soft ground at Haydock last season and will appreciate any rain. She didn’t see out the two and a half miles in the Gold Cup and the drop back in trip is going to suit.
“She has won at Goodwood before and, if she turns up on her A game, she is going to be very competitive.”
Godolphin, the global thoroughbred breeding and horseracing team founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, have launched Round 3 of their successful Fantasy Stable League.
Free to play and running until mid-November, the competition follows a similar format to other fantasy sports competitions, allowing players to take control of their own stable of horses for the season and an opportunity to win a once in a lifetime, all-expenses paid trip to the Dubai World Cup in 2018, along with a range of fantastic monthly and runners-up prizes.
For the first time Godolphin are offering those taking part the chance to add horses in training in Australia to their Fantasy Stables, including Hartnell, the son of Authorized, who was duly elevated to equal fifth in the latest international racehorse rankings and starts the season in Australia as the second-highest ranked Australian galloper behind Winx.
This adds an exciting new dimension to the competition, which already includes Godolphin horses in training in the UK, Ireland, France and the USA.
Horse selection lists are available from today to give players a chance to study the form and create their stable prior to the competition starting next week.
Those signing up to join the Godolphin Fantasy Stable League will also receive complimentary membership of Club Godolphin which rewards fans loyalty with access to exclusive behind-the-scenes content, the chance to win stable tours and to be invited as a guest of Godolphin at the races.
For more information about the Godolphin Fantasy Stable League please visit www.clubgodolphin.com