Richard Hannon is keen on the chances of Barney Roy in next week’s potential Royal Ascot rematch with 2000 Guineas winner Churchill.
The Godolphin colt lost his unbeaten record last month in the Newmarket Classic, finishing a gallant second to the Aidan O’Brien-trained Churchill.
Hannon felt Barney Roy didn’t handle the Rowley Mile’s infamous dip too well so was quite pleased with his Excelebration colt staying on well in the closing stages to take second spot.
With Churchill also set to line up in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes next Tuesday, a second joust between the pair is on the cards and has quickly become one of the most eagerly anticipated races of the five-day Royal Meeting.
Hannon watched Barney Roy go through his paces over seven furlongs on the Polytrack at Kempton on Monday and was pleased with what he saw.
The trainer has been happy with his charge since the Guineas and makes no secret of the fact he believes Barney Roy will have more to offer at Ascot, a track deemed more likely to suit than the Rowley Mile at Headquarters.
Hannon said: “Barney Roy went to Kempton with Son Of The Stars and had a nice breeze over seven furlongs around the right-handed bend.
James Doyle rode and was delighted with him. “I think he’ll go very well next week. The track will suit him and I’ve been very pleased with him since Newmarket.
We might have been tempted by the Derby, but I’m really pleased that we kept him fresh for this.”
Churchill is 1.67 to win the St James’s Palace Stakes while Barney Roy is 3.25.