After victory in the prestigious St James’ Palace Stakes and a fine run in the Coral-Eclipse, where he finished second, Barney Roy heads to York in excellent nick. His handler, Richard Hannon, fully expects another solid showing in the Juddmonte.
Barney Roy is in great form at home and has done very well since the Eclipse. He heads there in fantastic order and the Juddmonte looks the ideal race for him.” he said. “The Eclipse form has been boosted by the victory of Eminent last Tuesday (in a Group Two at Deauville) and I think he will take all the beating at York.”
Barney Roy Ready for Quality Showdown
The 11/4 favourite has tasted defeat to two of his main rivals here however, with Ulysses getting the better of him by a nose in that Coral-Eclipse at Sandown and Churchill getting the better of him in the 2000 Guineas back in May.
But the Godolphin charge is rather more versatile than Churchill and another candidate for success here in Cliffs of Moher, and if the rain arrives on Wednesday morning as expected then Barney Roy will head off as a solid favourite with the bookmakers.
Soft Conditions to Dampen Churchill Spirit
Despite a phenomenal career record, Churchill really doesn’t like soft ground and that has been shown in the past in renewals less competitive than this.
Take the Irish 2,000 Guineas for instance earlier this year, which the Aidan O’Brien trained colt was supposed to win at a canter – odds of 4/9 testament to that. But the favourite could only muster a two-length victory over the 1m distance, and a similar theme played out last year when he got home by a solitary length in the Chesham Stakes at a soggy Ascot.
The same yielding conditions, but an improvement in opposition, is not a recipe for success for Churchill – and O’Brien knows it. “Cliffs of Moher and Churchill are both on target for York and hopefully the rain stays away,” he said. Unfortunately, the forecast is not looking rosy for the Irishman.
Ulysses Ready for Royal Appointment
It is not always easy to get a good ride out of Ulysses: Ryan Moore, Frankie Dettori, Andrea Atzeni and Jim Crowley have all taken the reins with mixed success in his ten-race career.
Ulysses is in as a 7/2 chance here, and that is mostly due to the quality he has shown in losing efforts than anything else. He tracked Enable all the way in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, but found very little left in the tank in that 11f jaunt, so Sir Michael Stoute will be hoping that the switch back to 10f does the business.
He faded in the Prince of Wales’ Stakes as well in June when trying to chase down Highland Reel, and if the rain falls on York on Wednesday we have to wonder if Ulysses will have the lungs and the legs for the trip.
The conditions are likely to deter Churchill and Cliffs of Moher without ruling them out completely – assuming the showers come that is, and that could leave Barney Roy and Ulysses duking it out for honours.
Of the two it is Barney Roy who really appeals – he certainly has fewer question marks about him than his rival. Ulysses’ proclivity for running out of steam must be a concern for his backers, and the fast-finishing Hannon charge will start a justified favourite.
Anything around that 11/4 is value given that his price will fall as the two O’Brien entries’ lengthens on Wednesday morning.