'Barney' straight to St James's Palace

J A McGrath

Godolphin's Barney Roy is set to by-pass the G1 Investec Derby at Epsom and head straight to Royal Ascot for the G1 St James's Palace Stakes.

Trainer Richard Hannon has delivered an up-beat report on the 2,000 Guineas runner-up, who had featured in Derby discussions in some sections of the media. 

But John Ferguson, Godolphin's chief executive and racing manager, has ruled out Epsom.

"His Highness Sheikh Mohammed feels that the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, followed by the Irish 2,000 Guineas, followed by the St James's Palace would be too much to ask at this stage of Barney Roy's career, so he will go direct to Royal Ascot.

"As for the Derby, His Highness thinks that it would be unwise to run Barney Roy over a mile and a half.

"Being by Excelebration, there is no doubt he will get further than one mile, and it might be that a mile and a quarter will prove his optimum trip. But he will stick to one mile for the time being," he explained.

"Richard Hannon has been thrilled with Barney Roy's progress since Newmarket," he added.