Ulysses Wins Juddmonte International at York and Gains Free Berth into Longines Breeders' Cup Turf

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

YORK, U.K. (August 23, 2017) – Flaxman Holdings’ 4-year-old Ulysses (IRE) wore down 3-year-olds Churchill (IRE) and Barney Roy (GB) in the final furlong to win Wednesday’s 1 ¼ mile $1.23 million Juddmonte International at York Racecourse by two lengths under jockey Jim Crowley, and earned an automatic berth into the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) though the Breeders’ Cup Challenge.

The Breeders' Cup Challenge is an international series of stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders' Cup World Championships, which will be held for the first time at the Del Mar racetrack near San Diego, California, on November 3-4.

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, Ulysses, a chestnut son of Galileo, won his second Group 1 race this year, having taken the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on June 8. In his last start, Ulysses finished 4 ½ lengths behind Enable (GB) in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

"I think it's now time to give him a break," said Stoute to the Racing Post. "I know Maria [Niarchos] is keen for him to go for the Breeders' Cup Turf. What we have to do is work backwards from that."

The Niarchos Family has won seven Breeders’ Cup World Championships races, which include consecutive Mile wins by Miesque (1987, ’88) and Main Sequence, the 2014 Turf winner.

In the Juddmonte International, Crowley settled Ulysses (4-1) into a comfortable pace behind English and Irish 2000 Guineas (GI) winner Churchill, the 5-2 favorite, and St. James’s Palace (G1) winner Barney Roy (11-4). On the turn for home, Crowley asked a little more from Ulysses and the colt turned it on. With one furlong remaining, Ulysses powered past the dueling 3-year-olds on his inside and rolled to victory. Churchill finished second, a quarter-of a length ahead of Barney Roy in third, and followed in order by Cliffs of Moher (IRE), Decorated Knight (GB), Shutter Speed (GB) and My Dream Boat (IRE). Ulysses completed the 1 ¼ miles in 2:12.11 over a course listed as good to soft.

"I think that was his best performance to date," is how Stoute summed up Ulysses’s effort.

The Juddmonte International was the seventh Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifier for the 1½-mile, $4 million Longines Turf (G1) this year. The first six to qualify were the 5-year-old Hunt (IRE), who won last Saturday’s Del Mar Handicap (G1); the 4-year-old Beach Patrol, winner of the Arlington Million (G1) on August 12; the 3-year-old filly Enable (GB), winner of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1) at Ascot on July 29; Satono Crown (JPN), who captured the Takarazuka Kinen (G1) at Hanshin Racecourse in Japan on June 25; the 8-year-old Ordak Dan (ARG), who won the Gran Premio 25 de Mayo (G1) at San Isidro in Buenos Aires on May 25 and 3-year-old Voador Magee (BRZ), who earned a Turf bid by capturing the Grande Premio Brasil (G1) at Hipodromo Gavea in Rio de Janeiro on June 11.

On Thursday at York, fillies and mares take the stage in the 1½-mile Darley Yorkshire Oaks (G1), with the winner gaining a free berth into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1). On Friday, the winner of the 5-furlong Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (G1), for 2-year-olds and up, will earn an automatic berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1).

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