Richard Hannon says Barney Roy won’t be ‘setting things up’ for Ulysses in Saturday’s Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot.
Hannon’s three-year-old has twice clashed with Sir Michael Stoute’s charge this season and the four-year-old has come out best on both occasions.
Ulysses just got the better of Barney Roy in a Coral-Eclipse thriller at Sandown in July, earning the verdict by a nose, but the following month in the Juddmonte International at York his success was far more clear-cut.
Hannon feels his charge may have been compromised by a battle with dual 2000 Guineas winner Churchill on the Knavesmire.
James Doyle and Ryan Moore were at loggerheads a long way from home in the Juddmonte, allowing Jim Crowley to track them on Ulysses before decisively moving through to win late in the piece.
Hannon doesn’t blame his jockey for those tactics on the day, but says Barney Roy, 9/2 to win the Champion Stakes, will be given every chance tactically on Saturday to showcase his best form.
“The general theory is that he did too much at York although I don’t think James [Doyle] did too much wrong and I like the way he decided to do his own thing,” Hannon said.
“We got into a battle with Churchill – taking each other on maybe two-and-a-half furlongs or three furlongs down – and it very much played into the hands of Ulysses.”
“I bet Jim Crowley on Ulysses couldn’t believe his luck seeing us two scrapping it out two-and-a-half furlongs from home, and he’d have been thinking ‘we’ll just wait for you lads to get knackered and then we’ll go past’. Other than that our form is very closely tied in with Ulysses and there’s not much between us.
“We certainly won’t be setting it up for Ulysses this time. We’ll get a lead and sit in a little bit.”
Ulysses, third in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe earlier this month, is 10/3 to win the Champion Stakes while John Gosden’s Cracksman, who sidestepped the Arc, just edges favouritism at 3/1 for the British Champions Day showpiece.
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