BARNEY Roy won the Gr1 St James’s Palace Stakes over 1600m for trainer Richard Hannon and jockey James Doyle at Royal Ascot, Tuesday. Aidan O’Brien’s previously unbeaten Churchill, the 1-2 favourite, had to settle for fourth.
Churchill had previous held the upper hand over Barney Roy, beating him in the 2,000 Guineas, but this time it was the less heralded horse who enjoyed his day in the sun.
Just a length had separated the pair when they finished first and second at Newmarket in early May, but having since followed up at the Curragh, Churchill was all the rage to confirm his superiority over Hannon’s 5-2 shot.
The two big guns were happy to play their cards late, but it was clear from early in the straight that Churchill was not going to pick up the leaders.
Barney Roy was himself being ridden along from over 400m out, but responded to James Doyle’s urgings and got up to score by a length. Lancaster Bomber was second, ahead of Thunder Snow in third.
Doyle commented: “It’s been an up-and-down season and when I knew I’d got the ride on this fellow I was pretty excited,” he said. “He felt good at Newbury [Greenham] but it didn’t go our way in the Guineas. He’s proved what a good horse he is there.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien said of Churchill: “He ran well but his form has changed a little bit with Lancaster Bomber. He just didn’t pick up for some reason.”
Photo: James Doyle returns on Barney Roy. (Press Association).