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Champions Series stars to stud: Barney Roy

24 Jan 2018

This week we feature the St James's Palace Stakes winner who was also placed in three other Series races.

Barney Roy won the St James’s Palace Stakes and was placed in three other Champions Series races. Picture:

Career details:

Barney Roy proved himself a top-class performer at up to a mile and a quarter in 2017 when he contested no fewer than five QIPCO British Champions Series races.

He won one of them, the St James’s Palace Stakes, and was placed in three more and should be forgiven his one below-par effort, when ninth of ten in the QIPCO Champions Stakes at Ascot in October, as he was possibly feeling the effects of his campaign and almost certainly found the heavy ground too testing.

Barney Roy looked a good prospect when winning his sole start as a two-year-old, at Haydock in late September, and confirmed that when landing the JLT Greenham Stakes on his reappearance at Newbury.

On only his third start he finished a length second to Churchill in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and the handsome Richard Hannon-trained colt might have given the winner more to think about had he not stumbled running into the Dip and meeting a bit of interference.

The Excelebration colt went a long way to proving that on his next start, in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, when he won in determined style with Churchill back in fourth (watch below)

Barney Roy enhanced his reputation when beaten a nose by Ulysses in a thrilling Coral-Eclipse at Sandown. He rallied tenaciously and, in another stride or two, would have prevailed.

He also lost little in defeat when third in the Juddmonte International, when a couple of lengths adrift of Ulysses.

Again, he might have done even better had he and old rival Churchill not locked horns some way from home. The impression was that the pair had rather softened each other up and left themselves vulnerable to the classy winner.

Barney Roy had danced every dance until that stage and Hannon had hoped he would stay in training as a four-year-old.

However, after his one subdued effort, two months later on Champions Day, it was announced he had run his final race and that he would be retired to stud.

Career highlight:

It had to be his win in the St James’s Palace Stakes, which came either side of his narrow defeats in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and Coral-Eclipse Stakes.

Most followers of the sport expected Churchill to record a fifth successive Group 1 win in the Royal Ascot contest and he went of the 1-2 favourite.

However, Barney Roy was not short of his own supporters, having possibly not been seen to maximum advantage at Newmarket, and started 5-2.

The expected duel between the pair, on what was a scorching day, never materialised because the former was struggling a little way out and trailed home a subdued fourth.

By contrast, Barney Roy was in a tigerish mood and after coming off the bridle early in the straight he stayed on dourly in the closing stages to pull a length clear of Lancaster Bomber and Thunder Snow.

What they said:

“Why are you all looking so sad for, nobody died,” trainer Richard Hannon said when a small group of media approached him after Barney Roy’s narrow defeat in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas. “He’s finished second in the Guineas and it’s marvellous. It would have been better if he’d won but he’s a good horse and he’s proved that.

“I am very proud of him. He ran a good race, but he stumbled coming into the Dip, mainly through a little inexperience, but he has run a super race.”

After the win in the St James’s Palace Stakes, he said: “I was frustrated after the Guineas because he was a little inexperienced – that was what beat him. He nodded going into the Dip, lost his stride, and I thought he had broken down. To his credit he quickened up against horses that were already quickening, while Churchill got a lovely run, which was well executed by them.

“I felt that a flatter track here, without any undulations, would play to his strengths. James [Doyle] came down and rode him around a right-hand bend at Kempton last week, and he worked brilliantly on Sunday, and it’s all paid off.”

Where he will stand:

Barney Roy will stand at Dalham Hall Stud for a fee of £10,000.

Sam Bullard, director of Darley stallions, said: “Barney Roy was the leading miler of his generation, and ran with great credit over ten furlongs too, beaten only a nose in the Eclipse in a time that would have won him almost any other running.

“If his stock inherit his zestful way of running and ferocious tenacity in the finish, they will surely do well.”

Sheikh Mohammed purchased Dalham Hall Stud, on the outskirts of Newmarket, in 1981 and it is now Darley’s international headquarters.

What should we expect from his offspring?:

Barney Roy often caught the eye with his good looks and shiny coat in the paddock. If nothing else, his progeny should include a good looker or two.

He was blessed with a mix of speed and stamina, although he was not the most precocious (his sole start as a two-year-old came in late September) and he himself never raced over a distance shorter than seven furlongs.

Like his own sire, Excelebration, Barney Roy was a fine miler, although he was clearly fully effective over a mile and a quarter well and his trainer at one time harboured hopes of him developing into a mile and a half performer as a four-year-old.

It will be interesting to see if his stock get the chance to show what they can do over that distance.