Monday 23 July 2018

Ulysses has writing on the wall for Stoute

The veteran rider appeared to punch his mount, Kings Dolly, on the head prior to the start of a handicap hurdle at Tramore on Friday. Photo: Getty Images
The veteran rider appeared to punch his mount, Kings Dolly, on the head prior to the start of a handicap hurdle at Tramore on Friday. Photo: Getty Images

Marcus Armytage

Ulysses gave Michael Stoute a sixth Juddmonte International success at York when the Niarchos homebred - by a Derby winner (Galileo) out of an Oaks winner (Light Shift) - swooped inside the last furlong to beat the battling three-year-olds Churchill and Barney Roy by two lengths and a head in the £1 million race.

Patience has always been a virtue with Ulysses and if Jim Crowley possibly went a little too soon when only just beating Barney Roy in the Eclipse at Sandown, it was never going to be a problem yesterday as the duelling three-year-olds set up the race beautifully for him.

locked With no obvious pace, Barney Roy was allowed to bowl along up front just behind Cliffs Of Moher and just in front of Churchill. But as soon as James Doyle on Barney Roy kicked at the top of the straight, Churchill went with him and they were locked on to each other from a long way out. Crowley can scarcely have believed his luck.

Ulysses, as always, was travelling supremely well and with the two top-class milers effectively spent with a furlong to run, Crowley cruised past to win going away. Stoute, who last won the race in 2006 when it launched Ryan Moore into the big time on Notnowcato, said yesterday's win ranked among the best of the six "because we've become very fond of this horse".

He said: "It all went so smoothly- there was never a blip. It was his best performance so far. It's now time to give him a break. Maria (Niarchos) is very keen to run him in the Breeders' Cup Turf (Del Mar in November)"

The Betway Great Voltigeur is more traditionally a St Leger trial but for yesterday's impressive six-length winner Cracksman it could be his last start of the campaign.

Anthony Oppenheimer's son of Frankel certainly deserved a big race success after being placed in both the Epsom Derby and Irish Derby, but John Gosden has him marked down as a four-year-old and his only entries are at Ascot [Champion Stakes] and in the Arc, which Frankie Dettori feels might be a bit sharp for him at Chantilly.

"He's been showing us at home that he's stronger and more confident," said Gosden.

"He was only a shell of a horse in the Derby. His main programme is next year." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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