Hannon's Barney Roy set for titanic Juddmonte clash with Churchill

Barney Roy and Churchill are set to clash on the Knavesmire a week on Wednesday after Richard Hannon confirmed his stable star would be aimed at the Juddmonte International.

The Godolphin-owned three-year-old, a nose second to Ulysses in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown last month, was entered in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville on Sunday but instead will head to York on August 23.

Barney Roy is a best-price 100-30 with Betfair Sportsbook for the £1,000,000 Group 1 over a mile and two and a half furlongs, for which Churchill was shortened to 4-1 (from 5) with William Hill overnight.

Ulysses and the Aidan O'Brien-trained Highland Reel and Winter are the other entries at single-figure prices in the ante-post markets.

Richard Hannon and Barney Roy, photo Liesl King


Hannon said: "He came out of the Eclipse fine like he normally does and he's been ticking over since. He's in great form at the moment –he did a piece of work this morning and Sean Levey seemed very pleased with him.

"It will be a good race and so it should be. You wouldn't expect anything less for the level of the prize-money that's on offer - it’s a lovely track and I think it will suit Barney.

"He's proved himself now at the top level. He proved he gets a mile and a quarter and is probably just as effective over that distance as a mile, which a lot of the good horses are.”


Barney Roy is entered in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Champion Stakes on Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot on October 21, with a return to the scene of his St James’s Palace Stakes triumph a possibility, although the son of Excelebration will not be heading to Del Mar in early November.

Hannon said: "We could well go to Champions Day after York but we don't have to, there are plenty of options for him. We'll see how he gets on at York and how he comes out of the race and go from there. We won't be considering the Breeders' Cup though – not this year anyway."

Godolphin will aim for back-to-back victories in the Marois with Prix Jean Prat winner Thunder Snow and two-time Group 3 winner Inns Of Court, who were among the seven horses provisionally declared on Thursday morning for the €700,000 mile contest at Deauville on Sunday, which was won by Ribchester last year.

Saeed Bin Suroor, trainer of Thunder Snow, said: "He won well last time and relaxed nicely in front so we'll try to get a handy position with him again. He worked well four days ago and arrives in good form, and although this is a better race, he must have a chance. He's a good horse in his own right, winning a Group 1 at two and three.

"We'll keep our options open with him but he's likely to run on Champions Day after this, most probably in the QEII, although he's also entered in the Champion Stakes."

Aidan O’Brien decided against declaring St James's Palace second Lancaster Bomber but will be represented by Roly Poly, who recently followed up her Falmouth Stakes success with victory in the Prix Rothschild over course and distance, while the home challenge is headlined by 2,000 Guineas third Al Wukair.

Godolphin will not be represented in Saturday's Arlington Million after the Charlie Appleby-trained Scottish suffered a recurrence of an old fetlock injury and was ruled out for the season.

Appleby said: "It's a real blow. He had been working really well since returning from Royal Ascot in June, and the trip to the States was very much a prelude to spending the Australian spring in Melbourne.

"But that's all off the agenda now. The good news is that long-term the prognosis is good. All going well, he should be right to race again early next year in Dubai."