All roads lead to the Breeders’ Cup for Ulysses following a top-class performance to put his rivals in the shade in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York.
Having finished second in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained four-year-old claimed a second Group One of the season to add to his victory in last month’s Eclipse Stakes.
After early leader Cliffs Of Moher faded away it was dual 2000 Guineas winner Churchill and St James’s Palace Stakes winner Barney Roy who traded blows.
Sitting patiently behind was an almost motionless Jim Crowley aboard Ulysses waiting to make his move as late as possible.
Ulysses hit the front around 200m from from home and asserted his authority to cross the line two lengths clear of Churchill, with his old rival Barney Roy third, giving Stoute a record-breaking sixth success.
Bookmaker have Ulysses at 3-1 for the Breeders’ Cup Turf, in which he was fourth to Highland Reel last season and the same price for the the Champion Stakes at Ascot.
Stoute said the Breeders’ Cup was the most likely as he celebrated a record sixth Juddmonte win.
“It all just went so smoothly and there was never a blip. I think it was his best performance to date. He’s become a very professional athlete now,” Stoute said.
“I think it’s time to give him a break and work backwards from the Breeders’ Cup Turf. The owners are keen to go for that. We’ll go home and work it out.”