He’s been one of Britain’s outstanding trainers for more than a decade. Year in, year out, his operation maintains a prodigious production line of winners the like of which the country has rarely seen. You’d automatically assume Richard Fahey’s name would be high in the TRC world trainers’ rankings. But you’d be wrong.
The problem for master of Musley Bank in Malton, North Yorkshire, as far as the rankings are concerned is that they are based entirely on results in Group and Graded races. Fahey doesn’t win a lot of those.
In 2015, for instance, he equalled the British record of 235 winners in a calendar year and finished second (to John Gosden) in the trainers’ championship with £3.8 million in prize money. There were no G1 winners though. Indeed, for Fahey over the years, stars at the very top level have been in short supply.
But, boy, has he got one now.
Ribchester’s superb victory in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday (see YouTube video above), Fahey’s first G1 winner of 2017, was the highest-rated performance of the week on Racing Post Ratings - at 125 it was well clear of Caravaggio’s classy Naas comeback win (120) and even further ahead of the Preakness triumph of Cloud Computing (118).
It means a seven-point gain for Fahey in the rankings (joint highest of the week for any trainer worldwide), raising him 14 places to #58. It also brought a four-point gain for his sire, Iffraaj, who is having a fantastic year already on the back of his successes down under. Iffraaj is now up to world #29, and probably still rising.
The Godolphin-owned Ribchester was formidable enough in 2016 as it was, winning the G1 Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville and a finishing a strong second to Minding in the Queen Elizabeth II on Champions Day at Ascot in October. He looks even better now, a big-time contender for the season’s most important mile races, and possibly some over further.
Which will do Fahey’s profile in the world rankings no harm at all.
Click here for a list of the week’s biggest points gainers.
Click here for a list of the week’s group and graded winners, including ratings.