Barney Roy edged out in Eclipse thriller


Barney Roy lost out by the finest of margins when going down by a nose to Ulysses in a tremendous renewal of the G1 Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park, UK, on Saturday, July 8.

Stepping up to 10 furlongs after scoring over a mile in the G1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, Barney Roy broke well and soon raced freely in sixth of the nine runners.

The Richard Hannon trained three-year-old was asked to improve by James Doyle with three furlongs to race and quickened strongly to press for the lead passing the furlong pole.

Ulysses swooped to take up the running shortly afterwards and looked to have the measure of Barney Roy in the closing stages, but the Godolphin colt rallied bravely to renew his challenge near the line.

The two runners flashed past the post together, with four-year-old Ulysses getting the verdict in the tightest of finishes to win in 2m 3.49s on good to firm ground. Desert Encounter took third, a full three and a half lengths behind the front pair.

Richard Hannon commented: “Barney Roy is a good horse and he is getting better. He has run a super race and we are delighted.

“He was just a shade unlucky today. I am very proud of him and the team - it was a good effort. He is a brave horse and is only a baby.

“Barney Roy will be a very good middle-distance horse for this year and next year. He is in a lot of good races.

“He is still quite inexperienced, but has run a super race all things considered. He had a hard race at Ascot but has still come out and run his race here."

James Doyle said: “What a run from Barney Roy. It was a messy race early on but we had a lovely run round. Barney Roy was a little bit green on the track but he turned into the straight nicely and I thought we would win but Ulysses jumped on us quickly.

“I felt that we were definitely beaten and then Barney Roy has rallied back in the last 50 yards. In another stride, I thought that we would have got there. Full credit to the horse, who has run a stormer and improved again.”