Godolphin one-two as Barney Roy denies Castle for Hannon
The Greenham is a bona fide 2,000 Guineas trial and Barney Roy will head there with a live chance after overhauling fellow Godolphin runner Dream Castle, but trainer Richard Hannon, purring after the performance, also had the greatest Classic of them all on his mind.
Ridden by James Doyle, Barney Roy kept close tabs on the leaders and made headway two from home, but at that stage it looked like the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Dream Castle would add his name to the Greenham roll of honour that includes Kingman, Mill Reef and a certain Frankel.
However, he faltered inside the final furlong after pulling too hard in the early stages in the white second-string cap carried by Oisin Murphy and Barney Roy pounced, entering the Guineas picture as a general 6-1 shot.
Hannon, on at 40-1 and joking he might lay off, has a Guineas on his CV courtesy of Night Of Thunder, beaten behind Kingman in the 2014 Greenham before reversing that form at Newmarket.
"I needed that after seeing John Gosden winning everything," said the trainer. "I watched it with him in the bar and he said, 'You've got this'. When somebody says that they normally go and lose!"
Successful on his debut in the Silviniaco Conti colours of Sullivan Bloodstock Limited at Haydock in September, Barney Roy was purchased in a private deal by Godolphin and their investment seems money well spent.
"We've always liked Barney Roy and there's a big chance he'll go to the Guineas," added Hannon, whose father Richard was a six-time Greenham winner himself. "I think he'll get further too and he's very exciting.
"He's always looked a bit different, the way he moves, canters. He might even get a Derby trip the way he relaxes now."
Barney Roy would need supplementing for the Investec Derby, which Paddy Power make him 20-1 for, but Doyle was in agreement that the son of Excelebration, who is out of a Galileo mare, would get further.
"Once I gave him a couple of taps his stride pattern changed," said the rider, who has enjoyed a fruitful start to 2017 riding for Godolphin in Australia.
"He is going to learn so much for this and he's crying out for the step up to a mile. He's then a nice mile and a quarter horse in the making."
Oisin Murphy, talking about his mount Dream Castle who was without cover for the majority of the race, said: “He ran a cracker it was just a shame there was not much pace my side – I’d have loved to have got a lead but take nothing away from the winner who did it nicely.”
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor added: “He ran really well but was too keen in the race and maybe next time we’ll put a hood on him. The English or French Guineas and then Royal Ascot are options. I will use the hood in the morning with him and see how that helps him.”
Meanwhile Jim Crowley, who rode the third-placed Zainhom, said: “He ran a nice race but the ground was probably a bit too quick for him. He’ll improve when he goes up in trip.”