Global Weekly Preview: Dreaming of more Godolphin glory on a somewhat busy day
Godolphin trainer Richard Fahey is confident Ribchester can open his winning account for the season in Saturday's G1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, in which the four-year-old will have a pacemaker for the first time.
The horse chosen for the job, Toscanini, was transferred from Michael Halford in Ireland, and has drawn 8 in the 9-runner field, placing him several slots away from Ribchester in 5.
Fahey is not fazed by the possibility of a tactical tangle in the first half of the race.
"Obviously, I would have preferred him to have drawn beside his pacemaker, but that's the way it is," Fahey said.
"I have been very happy with Ribchester since he returned from Dubai. I think he has matured. He's very well in himself and his work has been good.
"If everything drops right, I am quietly confident he can win the Lockinge," the trainer added.
At Meydan on World Cup night, Ribchester finished an excellent third to Japanese-trained Vivios and the French entry Heshem in the G1 Dubai Turf. He was only beaten a length by the winner, and Fahey feels he is now ready to build on that performance. William Buick rides.
Toscanini has already run twice this season, at Doncaster and Saint-Cloud, and is ideal for his front-running role. He is the mount of Paul Hanagan.
This is a super weekend of global racing action, and Britain supplies the cream of the milers in the Lockinge.
Apart from Ribchester, there is last year's G1 2,000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold, who makes his seasonal debut, while talented Dutch Connection will carry the second set of Godolphin colours for the Charlie Hills stable.
In America, Pimlico is the venue for the second leg of the Triple Crown, the G1 Preakness Stakes, which despite being overshadowed by the G1 Kentucky Derby and the G1 Belmont Stakes, will still draw a crowd of around 130,000 in Baltimore on Saturday.
Always Dreaming looked a colt of considerable class when taking the G1 Kentucky Derby two weeks ago, but Classic Empire was broad-sided coming out of the starting gate and lost much valuable ground in that scrimmage.
He will be out for revenge and must have a good chance of reversing the placings this time.
In Brisbane, Godolphin jockey James Doyle will attempt to land his first G1 in Australia when partnering It's Somewhat in the G1 Doomben Cup, in which he faces a maximum of 15 rivals.
The son of Dynaformer is in great form, having won all three starts this preparation, including the G1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick on April 1.
Doyle did very well for Godolphin when sent out to Australia last December to take on the role of No 1 jockey in the absence of banned James McDonald. His ability to adapt quickly to local conditions was widely applauded.