Source: AtTheRaces via Twitter
Barney Roy is out for revenge at the St James’s Palace Stakes after losing out to Churchill at the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. The bay colt was considered one of the leading contenders to challenge the favourite in the first prestigious meet of the flat season.
He came into the race in good form, having triumphed in his previous race – one month prior to the showdown with a fine performance. However, the pace of Churchill proved to be too much to overcome down the final furlong of the race at Newmarket, with Aidan O’Brien’s charge coming out narrowly on top.
Hannon, along with jockey James Doyle, will have learnt from the experience and will be determined to push Barney Roy to the maximum to seek revenge at Ascot. The three-year-old is backed in the latest horse racing betting odds at 9/4 to triumph, although he will need an excellent outing to beat out Churchill, who is once again considered the favourite.
Barney Roy has the pedigree to win the race and has proven so in his career to date. He made an impact on his debut at Haydock Park in the Maiden Stakes. The bay colt was an outsider to win the race behind Muhajjal, Crowned Eagle and the favourite Fujaira Bridge, but he produced an outstanding display to take the crown.
Source: Champions Series via Twitter
He won the meet in emphatic style as he made a solid start before moving through the field and upping the ante down the final furlong to finish three and three-quarters lengths ahead of Fujaira Bridge.
After a seven-month break, he returned to action at the Greenham Stakes at Newbury against a competitive field, including Dream Castle. However, once again Barney Roy rose to the occasion and defeated his rival by a comfortable margin. The bay colt benefited from another strong finish to the race before cantering over the line – two lengths ahead of Dream Castle and the rest of the field.
As a result of his performances against talented opposition, Barney Roy was touted as one of the horses that was capable of challenging Churchill at the 2,000 Guineas. Even his pace down the stretch was not enough to reel in O’Brien’s charge, allowing the three-year-old to secure a victory by one length at Newmarket. Now Hannon and Doyle face the task of going one better when the stakes are even higher at Ascot and the St James’s Palace Stakes.
Both horses have had time away from the track, although Churchill did compete at the Irish 2,000 Guineas at Curragh – when he notched another comfortable victory. Barney Roy has not competed since the 2,000 Guineas, with his camp opting to pass on The Derby at Epsom.
Hannon has focused his intentions of preparing the bay colt for the meet at hand, and he will be aiming to match the achievement of his father Richard Hannon Sr – when he guided Canford Cliffs to the St James’s Palace Stakes crown in 2010.
Since then, six different horses and trainers have won the meet, with Hannon and Barney Roy determined to make it seven on the bounce.