Annie Power: the brilliant jumps mare was retired on Tuesday
PICTURE: Caroline Norris
Performance of the week
Whether the tactics were deliberate or not is a moot point – Ribchester was simply electric in the Lockinge Stakes as he continued Godolphin’s recent domination of Newbury’s richest Flat race of the season.
It was perceived pace-maker Toscanini was in the field to help resolve Ribchester’s headstrong nature, but while he was slowly away the favourite blasted out of the stalls under William Buick and never saw another rival as he powered home by nearly four lengths.
Richard Fahey is deserving of all the praise that has come his way as he has got to grips with a horse who has been described as having one way of doing things – fast.
The trainer has got under the bonnet of the free-going Ribchester and discovered a cruise control setting and the colt looks a major player in the season’s top mile contests.
Disappointment of the week
It was news we all saw coming but it didn’t make it any easier to accept. On Tuesday, connections of Annie Power, one of the finest jumps mares of recent times, finally decided time was up after numerous attempts to get her back on a racecourse.
Not seen in action since her resounding 18-length victory in the 2016 Aintree Hurdle, three weeks after her brilliant success in the Champion Hurdle, she was plagued by niggling injuries and setbacks for the entire last jumps campaign.
The scenes of her crashing out at the final flight of the 2015 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle with the race at her mercy was one of the most dramatic festival moments of the century, not least because it saved the bookmaking industry an estimated £50 million in accumulator liabilities.
The happy ending to this story is that, all being well, Annie Power’s legacy will live on, as she in in foal to Camelot, and it is hoped her offspring will keep her light shining for years to come.
A week to forget
Hughie Morrison had enough drama last week to fill an episode of Eastenders.
First the trainer was charged by the BHA after one of his horses tested positive for anabolic steroid nandrolone, something he insists he is innocent of as he went public with the offer of a £10,000 reward for information to help clear his name.
He was then instructed by the stewards at York to ensure all his employees are correctly briefed after one of his grooms was cautioned for urinating in a racecourse stable.
And finally his head girl Barbara Dare was taken to hospital at Newbury on Saturday after she was kicked by one of the stable’s horses in the parade ring.
Picture of the week
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
York’s paddock looked a sight for sore eyes when the sun came out on Thursday
Quotes of the week
“He was a good trainer and all-rounder. He was shrewd – you had to get up early in the morning to beat him.”
Jack Berry pays tribute to Alan Swinbank, who died on Wednesday at the age of 72.
“We’ve got the seven horses from the trials and the eighth would be Churchill, but there’s a big chance the lads will keep him at a mile.”
Aidan O’Brien, speaking after Thursday’s Dante Stakes, gives his clearest indication yet that the 2,000 Guineas winner will not be going to the Derby.
“I was nervous, and I don’t do nerves, it’s a big day and you just want to perform and god he did. I enjoyed that.”
Richard Fahey following Ribchester’s success in the Lockinge Stakes.
“We now know he wore blue in the 1839 Grand National. Red, or perhaps crimson, faces all round.”
Tim Cox, a trustee of the National Heritage Centre, who have been informed a set of scarlet silks they believed to be the ones carried to victory in the first running of the Grand National are not as advertised.
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