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.”