Ulysses out of British Champions Day and saved for Breeders’ Cup

first_imgnews Share on WhatsApp Share on Pinterest Share on Twitter Horse racing Read more Share on Messenger Horse racing tips Topics Since you’re here… Road To Respect’s odds for the Cheltenham Gold Cup were halved to 25-1 on Thursday, when Noel Meade’s runner landed a quality renewal of the Irish Daily Star Chase. The winner of a handicap at the last Cheltenham Festival, he stayed on to beat the outsider Kilcarry Bridge, who had pinched an easy lead, with Minella Rocco a disappointing fourth.“He was just very rusty,” said the winning jockey, Sean Flanagan. “He’s got loads of work done and was plenty fit enough, but he was just a bit rusty over his fences. He’s probably improved a bit from last year. He’s so much bigger and stronger.”Officials at Haydock have abandoned the card scheduled for Friday, which was due to be the Merseyside track’s final Flat-race meeting of the year. A deluge of 17mm of rain in the afternoon prompted an unplanned inspection which found the course to be waterlogged.Friday’s tips, by Chris CookFakenham 2.05 Honytonktennessee 2.40 Bonnet’s Vino (nap) 3.15 Bagad Bihoue 3.50 Theclockisticking 4.25 Actinpieces 5.00 MomellaHaydock Meeting abandoned due to waterloggingNewcastle 4.40 Snowy Winter 5.10 My Brother Mike 5.40 Valley Of Rocks 6.15 Emerald Rocket 6.45 Mametz Wood 7.15 Kreb’s Cycle 7.45 Intiwin 8.15 SamarmadiRedcar 1.30 Wrenthorpe 2.00 Miss Mazzie 2.35 Montanna 3.10 Stephensons Rocket 3.45 Essential 4.20 Limoncino 4.55 Relevant 5.25 DecimaWincanton 1.40 Molineaux 2.15 Roll The Dough 2.50 Garo De Juilley 3.25 Cucklington 4.00 White Moon 4.35 The Last But One Read morecenter_img The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Ulysses, one of the stars of this Flat season and the winner of two top-class races, has dropped out of British Champions Day and will instead go straight to the Breeders’ Cup next month. After mulling the possibility of a tilt at the Champion Stakes on Saturday, connections have decided against cramming one extra race into the horse’s busy autumn.“The Breeders’ Cup has been the objective for a very long time, really since he was fourth there last year,” said Alan Cooper, racing manager for the Niarchos family that owns Ulysses. “We weighed it up and felt that Saturday is just too close to the Breeders to ensure that he could be at his best when he goes there. Support The Guardian Share via Email “You could say it was an additional factor that the ground would be more suitable for him at Del Mar, all being well. But the decision was really more based on the feeling that it was too much to ask him to do, after running in the Arc, to take in two more races and a flight to the west coast of America. He’s very well, Sir Michael Stoute’s very happy with him. We’re looking forward to taking him to California.”Ulysses had been the 7-2 second-favourite for the Champion Stakes and his withdrawal has caused Cracksman to harden at the top of the market to 2-1 from 3s. Barney Roy is now second-favourite and his connections will be especially glad to see the back of Ulysses, who beat their horse in both the Eclipse and the Juddmonte International this year.Surprisingly, Highland Reel has been declared for the Champion with Ryan Moore booked to ride, despite a general belief that Aidan O’Brien’s charge needs fast ground to be fully effective. While the going at Ascot remained mostly good on Thursday, 7mm of rain was expected on Thursday night and possibly another 5mm on Friday night, so soft going appears on the cards.O’Brien needs just one more Group One success to match the world record of 25 in a year set by the late US trainer Bobby Frankel. The Irishman will field a dozen runners on Champions Day, having never previously had more than eight at the Ascot fixture.However, O’Brien’s only favourite on the card is in a race that will not count towards his record attempt. Order Of St George is just a 5-4 shot for the Long Distance Cup, which, as a Group Two, is rated just below the highest class. O’Brien’s best chances in the day’s four Group One contests appear to be Churchill, 4-1 second-favourite in the QEII, and Caravaggio, a 9-2 shot for the Sprint.Winter, who has contributed four to her trainer’s tally of Group Ones this year, will not be asked to race again until next year and possibly not even then. O’Brien reported that the filly “hasn’t been 100% since the Arc”, in which she was a never‑dangerous ninth when stretched out to a mile and a half for the first time. “She won’t run again this year and whether she stays in training will have to be discussed,” the trainer said. 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