Glorious Goodwood – Day 1
Glorious Goodwood is here at last.. Goodwood Racecourse hosts this annual meeting, which is one of the highlights of the British flat racing calendar. It is home to two of the UK’s 31 Group One flat races, the Sussex Stakes and the Nassau Stakes, these are to take place on the Wednesday and Saturday over this week, something to really look forward to!
The Lennox Stakes
Today’s highlight for me is The Lennox Stakes, this is a Group 2 flat race that takes place at Goodwood Racecourse in the opening day of Glorious Goodwood! It is open to horses aged three years or older and run over a distance of 7 furlongs.
The market at the moment are clearly undecided which should be the sole favourite, as at 9/4 (Coral) both Dutch Connection and Home of the Brave are sharing favouritism. The #BlueArmy are in town.. and they are here to win!
One of the three Godolphin runners and one of the two Hugo Palmer Trained horses is Home of the Brave. He’s a front runner and one that is forced to be setting the pace and will be hard to keep up with throughout this race. This season has already meant he has had two wins under his belt, one of which was the Jury Stakes, a Group 3 race at Haydock back in May. James Doyle is on board and is back to retain his crown after winning this race last year on board Toormore. Can he do it again and join the top jockeys of a total of two wins for this race? Only time will tell!
Dutch Connection, was a runner up in this race last year and looking to go one better. He hasn’t been disgraced this season despite not finding a win since Ascot back in 2015. It must be noted that that win was at a 7 furlong distance so the drop in distance again may just be the best way forward here. It will be interesting to see how well he will take to the race again and if he can get his head in front when it matters most. Last time out Dutch Connection came second to Mutakayyef by two and a quarter lengths in the Summer Mile stat Ascot and has been on the improve.
The final Godolphin runner is Birchwood, trained by Richard Fahey and will have the top man Ryan Moore in the saddle. Birchwood has been a smart performer but hasn’t made a big impact this season, especially on his first two starts. Last time seem to make a difference having the effect of a visor added to the mix, managing to land a Chester listed race earlier this month, the visor will be back on so no doubt Fahey will be looking for this form to now continue. There is certainly stronger competition on paper, but as we know anything can happen in racing.. and that was proven at Wolves on Monday with a 200/1 winner!
Markaz, currently 7/1 with Coral, a Group 3 winner over this distance of 7f back in 2015 but this season last time out was dropped back to 6f and seemed to be the trip he suited most after a career best at Newcastle Group 3 a month ago. Will the trip be too much again for this four year old? Having experience over this distance should mean that he will stay fine, but whether he will make the front runner with this competition is left to be questioned, an EW shout at a good price though for Paul Hanagan to squeeze the most out of this one.
The second of the Hugo Palmer representatives is Gifted Master (8/1 Coral), over his career has been showing bag of potential having 5 wins on the bounce, and was most impressive when coming home by two and a quarter lengths from Dream Dubai in the Pavilion Stakes Group 3 at Ascot, really kick starting his new season. His last two starts haven’t been quite up to his best and a little disappointing so it’s unclear whether he will be back to his best but would be great to see his form improve again.
The veteran in the race is the Buckstay at a grand age of 6 years, he’s has had real experience and seems to love his racing. On paper his form hasn’t been the best but certainly is consistent and a real trier in his races. He does have a hold-up style so how the race will unfold at the start will be the most important for Backstay and whether he will be able to keep up with the pace. One that will be a surprise with the competition that is in the race if he does makes the top three but still one we all get behind and wish him well. Always great to see that he still gets into Group races and is able to star on the big stage once again.
Dream Dubai, the outsider of the pack – has Group 1 experience but is now up in trip and has previously been against Gifted Master as mentioned earlier. This race is not going to be easy and understand odds of 25/1 with Coral. It’s been a total of 62 rides since Silvestre de Sousa’s last winner and is really looking to break this spell, he’s coming close being in the places and will really be focused to get a Group win, but the jockey is only as good as the horse… or is that necessarily true? I will let you ponder that one!
Not forgetting, we have Tupi, trained by Richard Hannon Jnr who is looking to follow in the footsteps of Richard Hannon Snr, being a leader trainer with a total of two wins for this race. Tupi has won listed races at Newmarket at a variety of trips but the season hasn’t been one that has really made an impact and been slightly disappointing. Was a good second in a 6f Group 3 that was won by Magical Memory but nothing else has really shown that he will be an improver of this race.
Overall, I think it could be a 1-2-3 Godolphin take-over, the question is what will be the actual order? My heart still lies with Home of the Brave to stick it out at the front and set the pace to get Hugo Palmer his first Lennox Stakes winner. My EW fancy would be Birchwood with Ryan Moore on board for Fahey and the visor to help do the trick once more.
200 – Mutamakkin // Second Wave (EW)
235 – Larchmont Lad // Medieval (EW)
310 – Home of The Brave // Birchwood (EW)
345 – Gold Prince // A Soldiers Life (EW)
420 – Blithe Spirit // Confessional (EW)
455 – Mazyoun // Swag (EW)
530 – Quebee // Home Cummins (EW)
It’s a good luck to all the runners and riders, as always wishing them all a safe return.
I will have my fingers crossed for all connections and hope everyone enjoys a great days racing at Goodwood!