Barney Roy, Godolphin and Royal Ascot
Roy out for revenge at Royal Ascot
Barney Roy, one of Godolphin’s leading three year olds, heads to Royal Ascot next week looking to gain revenge over his rival Churchill after defeat in the 2000 Guineas. He has been kept fresh since that run and with a better passage on a track that will suit more he looks to have a great chance of giving Godolphin and his trainer Richard Hannon a Group 1 winner.
The son of Excelebration is a horse that highlights the shift in how Godolphin are operating in the UK. He ran as a two year old for different owners with Richard Hannon, he was spotted by Godolphin and purchased, but remained with the Hannon team instead of transferring to one of their own trainers. This is becoming a regular thing now and while it is giving Godolphin success, it is also causing conflict in the camp. Just last week, Saeed Bin Suroor was complaining about the quality of horses he had been sent this year, in the past Barney Roy would more than likely have ended up in his yard.
Barney Roy was strongly fancied to go close in the 2000 Guineas and he did, despite nothing going right for him in the race. Firstly, in my opinion he was too far off the pace dictated by Ballydoyle, who it has to be said rode a great team race that day. Then when he did finally come to challenge, he really struggled on the track and stumbled coming up the hill before finding a little trouble in running that really ended any realistic chance he had of catching Churchill. With so much going wrong for him, he is surely better than the bare form and having being kept fresh for Royal Ascot, he surely has a huge chance of reversing the form.
Elsewhere in the race, Churchill will head in as favourite after his English and Irish Guineas double for the all-conquering Aidan O’Brien team. He is obviously a top quality colt but this will be his third tough race in ten weeks and it wouldn’t surprise me if he is given a well deserved short break after this race.
Dream Castle is another likely Godolphin representative in the race, he is trained by Saeed Bin Suroor, although he has been beaten twice by Barney Roy already this season and it is hard to see him reversing that. Elsewhere, the competition is pretty thin on the ground and the race looks set to be a match between Churchill and Barney Roy. The former is top quality but I have my doubts as to how ready he will be for this race after two tough races already this season. On the other hand, Barney Roy has been kept fresh, specifically aimed at this race and was unlucky last time out for a number of reasons.
His sire Excelebration is having his first set of three year olds on the track this year, a Royal Ascot winner in Barney Roy would certainly increase interest in him at stud.
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