07/08/2017 10:42AM

Ulysses by a nose over Barney Roy in Coral-Eclipse Stakes

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Ulysses, fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita last November, won the first Group 1 race of his career in a thrilling running of Saturday’s $647,500 Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park, south of London.

Ulysses (8-1) won the Eclipse Stakes at 1 1/4 miles on turf by a nose over the 3-year-old Barney Roy, the 9-4 second choice.

Ridden by Jim Crowley for trainer Michael Stoute, Ulysses closed from off the pace in a field of nine to reach contention in the final quarter-mile. Ulysses took the lead in the final furlong but was fully extended to hold off Barney Roy, the winner of the Group 1 St. James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.

Desert Encounter, a 50-1 outsider, finished third, 3 1/2 lengths behind Ulysses. Cliffs of Moher, the 7-4 favorite, was an unlucky fourth. Ridden by Ryan Moore, Cliffs of Moher was checked while racing in traffic in the opening half-mile. In the stretch, Cliffs of Moher raced on the rail behind the leaders while alongside Barney Roy and did not have a clear path.

The Eclipse Stakes was the first start against older horses for Barney Roy and Cliffs of Moher, who was second in the English Derby last month.

The Eclipse Stakes was the fourth appearance in a Group 1 for Ulysses, who races for the Niarchos family. Ulysses was 12th in the Group 1 English Derby in June 2016 and third in the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.

By top stallion Galileo, Ulysses has won 4 of 10 starts. He won Group 3 stakes in England last August and in April of this year.