Ulysses will be partnered by the returning Ryan Moore at Windsor
PICTURE: Getty Images
By Jon Lees 9:26AM 27 AUG 2016
RYAN MOORE returned with a bang at Newmarket on Friday and he climbs aboard another exciting prospect on Saturday evening when he partners Ulysses in Windsor’s Winter Hill Stakes.
Spatial earned quotes of 33-1 for next year’s 1,000 Guineas after her easy success under Moore on his first ride since being sidelined for a month with a hip injury.
At Windsor the three-time champion jockey partners another from the Sir Michael Stoute yard as Gordon Stakes winner Ulysses attempts to prove he is Champion Stakes material in a Group 3 that Ascot hero Fascinating Rock contested a year ago.
Fascinating Rock finished fifth at Windsor but went on to land the Champion Stakes and now it is the turn of highly regarded Ulysses to prove his credentials on this drop to 1m2f.
The three-year-old colt, who started 8-1 for the Derby but finished 12th, showed considerable improvement when scoring on his next outing in the Gordon and now takes on older horses for the first time in a race Al Kazeem won two years ago before losing narrowly in the Champion Stakes.
Alan Cooper, racing manager to Flaxman Stables, owners of Ulysses, said: “Michael feels he could be a mile-and-a-quarter horse in the making and this is a good opportunity to prove it at Group 3 level.
“The horse is maturing. After the Derby he had a nice break and did everything right at Goodwood. This is another step up against the older generation.
“We’re looking long term at a four-year-old career but we’ll see how this goes and how many more races he’ll have this year. He’s entered in the Champion Stakes and the Arc but we’ll get through this before we start talking about Group 1 races again.”
The opposition is led by the John Gosden-trained Foundation, who was a Classic hope at the start of the year but has been gelded since disappointing in the Prix du Jockey Club, after which he finished fifth at Haydock.
Harry Herbert, managing director of owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, said: “We saw last time he behaved beautifully in blinkers. We were pleased with his performance at Haydock compared to France and it was a good race. Ulysses will be tough but Foundation will run very well if the ground is all right. John doesn’t want to run him if it’s too quick.”