|Group 1, Sandown Park 15:35
1m 1f 209y, Class 1
|Saturday 8th July 2017|
1 Ulysses 8/1
2 Barney Roy
3 Desert Encounter 50/1
9 ran Distances: nse, 3½l, 1l
Time: 2m 3.49s (fast by 1.81s)
Ulysses just holds off Barney Roy to win in a photo finish
Sir Michael Stoute collects a sixth win, now tied with Alec Taylor Jr for most Eclipse wins
Ulysses, ridden by champion jockey Jim Crowley, officially won by a nose at 8-1 but if the judge had the option of using the term “a flared nostril” he might well have gone for that option.
The principals flashed past the post as one in the QIPCO British Champions Series £500,000 showpiece – clear of Desert Encounter, who kept on from the rear to claim third. Cliffs Of Moher, the Derby runner-up, was fourth after suffering interference on the first bend with Eminent, fourth at Epsom, occupying fifth.
It was an incident-packed renewal in which three jockeys found themselves in trouble with the stewards. Padraig Beggy, the rider of Taj Mahal, picked up an eight-day ban for careless riding and Silvestre De Sousa, aboard Eminent, got two days for the same offence.
Meanwhile, James Doyle used his whip above the permitted level on Barney Roy and, because he has been a repeat offender in recent months, was referred to the BHA.
Just for good measure, Stoute was fined £1,000 as the stewards ruled the regally bred Ulysses had entered the parade ring after the signal to mount had been given.
The trainer was gaining his second win this year’s Series, after the win of Dartmouth in the Yorkshire Cup, and he said: “I felt from the furlong marker he was always holding him, but my angle was bad and I didn’t have any idea if he had won or not, so it was a relief. It was nerve wracking for a while.
“He is a very consistent, game horse and he has only ever had one blip in his life and that was in the Derby when he got turned over twice. He has never run a bad race.”
Asked about future plans, the trainer added: “Let’s go home and see how he is in 10 days’ time. I wouldn’t rule out going back up to a mile and a half.”
Crowley said: “When you become champion jockey these are the races you should be and want to be winning. It’s number one. I’ve had Group One winners at Ascot, but the Eclipse it’s one of the big ones you want to win.”
Barney Roy, runner-up in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas before going one better in the St James’s Palace Stakes, stayed the extra two furlongs well and Richard Hannon, his trainer, said: “He is good horse and he is getting better. We are delighted, he has run a super race. He was just shade unlucky. I’m very proud of him and the team, it was a good effort.
“He will be a very good middle-distance horse for this year and next year. He is in a lot of good races.”
Coral-Eclipse (British Champions Series) (Group 1)
£500,000 added, 3yo plus, 1m 1f 209y, Class 1
Going: Good to Firm
|Pos||Dr||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||(6)||Ulysses (IRE) 8/1||Jim Crowley
|Sir Michael Stoute||4|
|2nd||(4)||nse||Barney Roy 9/4||James Doyle
|3rd||(8)||3½||Desert Encounter (IRE) 50/1||S M Levey
|D M Simcock||5|
|4th||(1)||1||Cliffs Of Moher (IRE) 7/4f||R L Moore
|A P O'Brien||3|
|5th||(3)||s.h||Eminent (IRE) 4/1||S De Sousa
|6th||(2)||¾||Decorated Knight 10/1||O Peslier
|7th||(5)||2¼||Lightning Spear 25/1||Oisin Murphy
|D M Simcock||6|
|8th||(7)||½||Salouen (IRE) 33/1||W Buick
|9th||(9)||½||Taj Mahal (IRE) 50/1||P B Beggy
|A P O'Brien||3|