The renewal of the Juddmonte International at York on Wednesday the 23rd of August looks set to be a thrilling affair as the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Ulysses is set to do battle once again with Richard Hannon’s Barney Roy. With dual Guineas winner Churchill also expected to take part, it should be a renewal of the highest order, with spectators expected to be in for a gripping race.
The last time Ulysses and Barney Roy did battle, Sir Michael Stoute’s Ulysses won by a nose in a 10-furlong showpiece race at Sandown. This led to many wanting to see the two horses go head to head once again and the Juddmonte International is ideal. Connections from both camps have confirmed that both Ulysses and Barney Roy will travel to Knavesmire to take part in the rematch.
Both horses are apparently in tip top condition and raring to go. Ulysses is dropping back in trip for the appearance after second place finished to Enable in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on his most recent outings. Barney Roy’s Coral-Eclipse performance has given connections big hopes that he can gain revenge on Ulysses after he beat him by a nose at Sandown.
The Juddmonte Interantional stakes is a Group 1 race over 1m 2f 56 yds. The prize pot is believed to be £1,000,000 and there are 38 entries so far although declarations haven’t taken place yet. The clash between Ulysses and Barney Roy, for most, is the biggest talking point and what they’re looking forward to the most. However, there will be stiff competition from Churchill and other horses from the A P O’Brien contingent.
Other horses to keep an eye out for are Highland Reel, Cliffs of Moher and Winter. All are good outsiders with a chance of upsetting the apple cart. With all the focus being on the three favourites, Barney Roy, Churchill and Ulysses, you can see one of those 3 Aiden O’Brien horses snatching victory from one of the bookmaker’s expected winners.
All in all, it should be a great reunion at York. The battle between Ulysses and Barney Roy, with the latter out seeking revenge, will be an interesting watch with many eager to see how it plays out. Churchill will be no push over and Aiden O’Brien will be well represented in the race too.
The International Stakes should get York’s four-day Ebor Festival off to a great start; with the venue’s richest and most glamorous race, setting the tone for the rest of the festival. It’s sure to live up to expectations once again.