Sir Michael Stoute proud of Ulysses after King George defeat

Sat 29 Jul 2017

Kyle Mitcheison at Ascot

Sir Michael Stoute was delighted to unearth Ulysses' versatility when his Coral-Eclipse winner went out on his shield to Enable in the King George VI and Queen Elizbeth Stakes on Saturday.

Adopting his customary position towards the rear of the ten-runner field under Jim Crowley, the son of Galileo travelled best into the straight and was still on the bridle at the two furlong pole. Drifting towards the centre of the track, he could make no further impression in the closing stages on the runaway leader, who powered clear on the far side rail.

"I am delighted with him," Stoute said.

"We like him on better ground, but we were beaten by a very good filly.

"He is very versatile, really. He gets a mile and a half no problem and we have to be very pleased.

"We will have to do a bit of thinking now. We can do 10 [furlongs], we can do 12 and we don't have to worry about soft ground, although he will be better on a faster surface.”

Ulysses is a best-priced 8-1 for the Qipco Champion Stakes back here in October, and is the same price for the Breeders' Cup Turf at Del Mar in November. Stoute has won the Breeders' Cup Turf four times.

Champion jockey Jim Crowley has developed a fine association with the four-year-old and has been on board on his last three starts. A close third in the Hardwicke Stakes back in June was followed by a first success at Gr1level in the Eclipse earlier this month.

“It's not his ground at all he's run a hell of a race so I'm very proud of the horse,” added Crowley.

Idaho fared best of the two challengers from Ballydoyle, finishing four-lengths ahead of his stable companion Highland Reel who filled out the fourth spot under Ryan Moore.

“They ran great races both of them so I'm delighted with their runs really,” reflected Aidan O'Brien.

“The weather wasn't going too bad until the last half hour. They're tough horses and they'll have plenty of days.

“I don't want to make excuses and take anything away from the winner in any way but Highland Reel on fast ground -that's his thing. He's just such a great horse and never knows when to lie down.”

Dubai Sheema Classic-winner Jack Hobbs was alongside his better fancied stable mate turning into the home straight, but steadily weakened inside the final two furlongs and was virtually pulled up at the winning post.

His rider, William Buick, said: “He stopped very quick and, look, I don't know he was very disappointing anyway.

“He travelled around OK. I thought I had him in the right place and the winner came past me very quick and the rest of the field did.”

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