Qatar Lennox Stakes
|Group 2, Goodwood 15:10
7f, Class 1
|Tuesday 28th July 2015|
1 Toormore 9/4JF
2 Dutch Connection 9/4JF
3 Safety Check 11/1
NR: Absolutely So (IRE), Glory Awaits (IRE), Limato (IRE)
7 ran Distances: ¾l, hd, ¾l
TIME 1m 25.98s (slow by 1.98s)
Toormore wins the Lennox Stakes for Richard Hannon & James Doyle, his first race in the cobalt blue of Godolphin
Carrying the colours of Godolphin for the first time after being sold by Middleham Park Racing, Toormore was the 9-4 joint-favourite down in trip and class on the Sussex Downs and was soon dominating proceedings at the head of affairs.
The opposition began to make their moves inside the the last two furlongs, with Code Red briefly challenging for the lead, but Toormore was all heart and came home three-quarters of a length clear.
The other joint-favourite, Prix Jean Prat runner-up Dutch Connection, kept on well for pressure to grab second, just ahead of Safety Check in third. Code Red eventually weakened into fourth place.
Doyle said: "It was his first run for us (Godolphin) and he's a solid horse. He's shown that again today.
"Seven furlongs is definitely the minimum for him and I just let him use his stride and he relaxed in front.
"He ground it out nicely and it's nice for him to get his head in front.
"He gets a mile and Hughesie (Richard Hughes) said he'd often thought he'd get a little bit further.
"He's battle-hardened, they were all coming at him, but he kept pulling a bit out."
Hannon was delighted to see Toormore gain his first victory since landing the Craven Stakes at Newmarket in April of last year.
"He did it the hard way. He was in front, they came to him one by one, and he proved his class," said the champion trainer.
"I think he wants a mile now. It's just lovely to see him win a race as he'd been second in so many nice races and run so many good ones. He could easily have chucked it in and thought 'I've done my bit now'.
"He was champion two-year-old and he needed that and we needed to see that so we could go up to the next level. He's chosen the right day to do it, with a lot of prize-money on offer.
"He's always been a very pleasing horse to have at home, he's a lovely-moving horse with a lovely attitude and a pleasure to have around.
"Those horses are hard to find, so it's great he's got his head in front and now that he's done that and got his confidence, he might go for the Jacques le Marois."
"We'll go back up to a mile with him and we'll try to keep him to quick ground.
"I don't know where we'll go next, it could be soft for the Jacques le Marois and we'd like to give him a chance.
"The Breeders' Cup Mile is his long-term objective."
Safety Check ran a fine race to pick up minor honours on his first start since winning the Zabeel Mile at Meydan in late February.
Trainer Charlie Appleby said: "As long as he comes out of this well - there's no reason he won't take a big step forward - he'll go for the Hungerford next, as he'll only have a 2lb penalty in that, so he should be competitive."
Qatar Lennox Stakes, Group 2
£300,000 added, 3yo plus, 7f, Class 1
Going: Good to Soft, Good in places
|Pos||Dr||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||(5)||Toormore (IRE) 9/4j||James Doyle
|2nd||(3)||¾||Dutch Connection 9/4j||Jim Crowley
|3rd||(9)||hd||Safety Check (IRE) 11/1||W Buick
|4th||(6)||¾||Code Red 16/1||M Dwyer
|W R Muir||3|
|5th||(4)||nk||Ascription (IRE) 11/2||G Lee
|6th||(8)||2¼||Aeolus 16/1||G Baker
|7th||(1)||14||Tupi (IRE) 6/1||R Hughes
|NR||(7)||Absolutely So (IRE) 12/1||David Probert
|A M Balding||5|
|NR||(2)||Glory Awaits (IRE) 25/1||Non Runner
|K A Ryan||5|
|NR||(10)||Limato (IRE) 4/1||Non Runner