Jim Crowley to play waiting game on Ulysses in King George at Ascot

Wed 26 Jul 2017

Champion jockey Jim Crowley will be playing his cards late on Ulysses in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

Crowley felt he made his challenge too early when riding the regally-bred colt for the first time in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at the Royal meeting in June when third to Highland Reel.

However, he delayed his challenge until much later in the Eclipse and just got the better of the three-year-old Barney Roy.

"Ulysses has always been held in high regard and it was great it all came to fruition," said the jockey.

"He's won over a mile and a half, a mile and a quarter, and the way he travels he could probably win over a mile. He's just a very high-class horse.

"It was the first time I'd ridden him in the Prince of Wales's and I might have got there a little bit too soon against a horse like Highland Reel, who loves a fight.

"It was always in the back of my mind (in the Eclipse) to hold on to him a bit longer."

Ulysses will again face another smart three-year-old in Enable, who is a short-priced favourite to beat her elders as she bids to win her third Group One of the season.

John Gosden's filly was an impressive winner of the Oaks at Epsom and followed up in scintillating style in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh a fortnight ago.

Gosden also runs Jack Hobbs, an easy winner of the Sheema Classic in Dubai before disappointing on fast ground at Royal Ascot in the Prince of Wales's, while stablemate Maverick Wave is expected to employ pacemaking duties.

Highland Reel has won six times at the highest level and Aidan O'Brien's five-year-old defends his King George crown.

The Ballydoyle handler also saddles Highland Reel's brother Idaho, another Royal Ascot winner in the Hardwicke Stakes.

A third winner from Ascot's big meeting in June taking part is Saeed bin Suroor's Benbatl, who was fifth in the Derby before he claimed the Hampton Court Stakes.

David Simcock runs Eclipse third Desert Encounter, while the in-form Clive Cox is represented by My Dream Boat.

International interests are catered for by the South American challenger Sixties Song, ridden by Gerald Mosse.

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