Coral-Eclipse: Ulysses pips Barney Roy at Sandown Park

Jim Crowley on board Ulysses (far side) wins ahead of Barney Roy
Trainer Michael Stoute secured a sixth Coral-Eclipse triumph thanks to Ulysses (far side)

Sir Michael Stoute secured a sixth Coral-Eclipse Stakes triumph as 8-1 shot Ulysses edged Barney Roy in an epic finish at Sandown Park.

They crossed the line together, but the judge confirmed Ulysses as the winner by a nose from the 9-4 Barney Roy, ridden by James Doyle.

The result was especially sweet for winning jockey Jim Crowley.

He was surprisingly replaced on better-fancied contender Eminent - which finished fifth - during the week.

Crowley had steered Ulysses to third place in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.

"I was just delighted to get back on this horse after finishing third aboard him at Royal Ascot," said Crowley after his Sandown victory.

"We learnt a little about each other that day and this was a fantastic performance."

Desert Encounter, a 50-1 shot ridden by Sean Levey, was third.

Cliffs Of Moher, the 7-4 favourite, did not recover after stumbling badly.

Ridden by Ryan Moore, the runner-up in last month's Derby was tightened up on the rail and lost vital ground.

Stoute said he had to wait before celebrating.

"A lot of people congratulated me and said 'well done, well done', but I said 'let's just hold on'," he added.

"I just felt he was holding on, holding on, but I was watching from a poor angle and I just didn't know."

Jockey Silvestre de Sousa, who rode Eminent, and Derby-winning jockey Padraig Beggy, who was on board Taj Mahal, which finished last, picked up two and eight-day bans respectively for careless riding.

Meanwhile, Stoute was fined £1,000 as the stewards ruled Ulysses had entered the parade ring after the signal to mount had been given.

Earlier, Battaash (5-2 favourite) was an impressive winner of the five-furlong sprint under Dane O'Neill for trainer Charlie Hills.

Analysis

BBC Sport horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght

A thrilling finish, but a rough race too in which Cliffs Of Moher was badly impeded early on - Ryan Moore thought it cost him any chance of success.

Ulysses, ridden by Jim Crowley after he was surprisingly replaced in midweek on Eminent (fifth), was moving conspicuously well entering the closing stages.

While he looked likely to win from then, Barney Roy showed fighting spirit galore and ended up going down by just a nose.

On this evidence, Barney Roy looks the outstanding three-year-old colt at the moment, but Cliffs Of Moher deserves another chance.

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