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Ulysses proves one in a million for Stoute

23 Aug 2017

Coral-Eclipse winner adds another huge prize to his name with success in Juddmonte International at York

Jim Cowley and Ulysses after combining to win the Juddmonte International, along with proud lass Radka Hovadova. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Ulysses put his younger rivals in the shade for a second time by landing the Juddmonte International Stakes at York.

The Coral-Eclipse winner was always coasting in the £1million showpiece, which forms part of the QIPCO British Champions Series, and when Jim Crowley invited him to hit the front a furlong out the response was instant.

Ulysses won by two lengths from Churchill, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner, with Barney Roy, the St James’s Palace winner, another nbeck away in third. The trio pulled well clear of Derby runner-up Cliffs Of Moher.

Having also finished second in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained winner was again showing what a tough and honest horse he is.

“It all just went so smoothly and there was never a blip,” Stoute, winning his sixth Juddmonte, said. “I think it was his best performance to date. He’s become a very professional athlete now.

“York is a different track to Sandown, it’s so level, and I never had any worries the way he was travelling. I think it’s time to give him a break and work backwards from the Breeders’ Cup Turf. The owners are keen to go for that. We’ll go home and work it out.”

Comparing Ulysses to some of his previous winners of the race, Stoute said: “He is taking his races so well, he’s got everything. I think he is as good at 12 furlongs, don’t forget the King George was run in a swamp, it wasn’t ideal conditions for him. Today’s performance would put him up there, if not in front of them.”

Crowley said: “He seems to like being ridden with confidence. He is improving and today is the best feel I have got off him to be honest and he seems to be getting better and better.

“I always had plenty of horse. Today he relaxed so nicely and he just lobbed round. When I got there he got there quite soon, I just had to nurse him along to make sure he got there.”

Churchill was sent off the 5-2 favourite and Aidan O’Brien, his trainer, said: “He ran very well and we are very happy with him. The ground wasn’t ideal, but he still ran well.

“Goodwood (withdrawn from Sussex Stakes following a downpour) messed us up really as we were ready to run there, but you can’t do anything about the weather. The Irish Champion Stakes is very possible, but he would have to be very well.”

Barney Roy’s trainer Richard Hannon said: “That was another very solid run. They took each other on a long way out and probably set it up for the winner.

“We might run him over 10 furlongs again, but a lot will depend on the ground. If it comes up soft we could go back to a mile with him. But we are certainly not ruling it out.”