St James's Palace hero Barney Roy back on track after stud failure
Ascot Shop Paradise Stakes (Listed) |1m (Str), 4yo+ | Sky
Barney Roy, who was retired to stud after contesting the Champion Stakes at Ascot in October 2017, resumes his racing career after proving sub-fertile as a stallion.
Although he has by far the best overall form in this Listed race, it will provide a good test since Wadilsafa, Tabarrak and Canvassed are all highly progressive performers likely to take higher rank this season.
Winner of Royal Ascot's Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes earlier that season when trained by Richard Hannon, the five-year-old Barney Roy, who was gelded at the end of last year, returns to the scene of his greatest triumph under the tutelage of Charlie Appleby.
During a fine three-year-old campaign, Barney Roy was also beaten a nose in the Eclipse Stakes and finished third in York's International Stakes.
Bookmakers clearly anticipate his spell on the sidelines won't have done him any harm, as they generally quote him as 11-10 favourite to make a winning return to action, and Appleby agrees.
"Barney Roy has been with us for the last couple of months and is showing all the enthusiasm that you'd hope for," the trainer said.
"He was a very talented three-year-old, who unfortunately met with an injury at the end of that season. He's been gelded since and his preparation has gone well.
"We didn't have him as a Group 1 campaigner, but he's showing all the right signs he retains all the enthusiasm and the ability to reach a similar level again."
Appleby also runs First Contact, who has been busy this year, running three times at the Dubai World Cup Carnival, then finishing sixth in the Earl of Sefton.
Appleby added: "The drop back to a mile should suit First Contact and he won't look out of place in this line-up."
Nor should the promising Wadilsafa, who has won three of his five starts, including his last two.
Trainer Owen Burrows said: "I'm very pleased with how he's done over the winter – he's strengthened up a lot. He has a 3lb penalty to contend with, but the track and ground will suit and it's a race we've had in mind for a while.
"We've left him in the Lockinge and we're also thinking about the Queen Anne. That's the dream, but he's got to prove he's good enough first."
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