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Lennox Stakes tips for July's Group Two race. Being first run in 2000, the Lennox Stakes is one of the newer races at the five-day Glorious Goodwood Meeting. Last year we saw a shock 50/1 winner when Breton Rock landed the prize, but can he follow-up in 2018? Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.
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|No.||Horse||Sign Up Offer||CLAIM||£30||£30||CLAIM||£40||CLAIM||£30|
|Tip Two Win||7/1||7/1||13/2|
|Here Comes When||20/1||16/1||16/1|
|Oh This Is Us||20/1||20/1||16/1|
|Spirit Of Valor||20/1||20/1||25/1|
|Could It Be Love||16/1||33/1||33/1|
The Lennox Stakes is another of the feature Group races that is staged at the Glorious Goodwood Festival each year. Run over a distance of seven furlongs, the contest is open to horses aged three years or older and run on the opening day of the five-day meeting.
Being first staged in only 2000, it’s one of the newest races to the festival with only eighteen previous winners. During that period the Richard Hannon yard have built-up a decent record in the race – winning the prize three times (2008, 2011 & 2015) so anything they send to post must be respected. Other key Lennox Stakes tips to note are that thirteen of the last sixteen winners had previously won over this seven-furlong trip, while it’s interesting that eight of the last nine winners came from stalls seven or lower.
The favourites generally have a good record in the Lennox Stakes too – having won 38% of the last sixteen renewals, but it was the bookmakers that were laughing twelve months ago when the David Simcock-trained Breton Rock won at a stonking 50/1!
In the eighteen-year race history we’ve seen just one horse – Nayyir (2002 & 2003) win back-to-back renewals of this race so all eyes will be on Breton Rock to see if he can successfully defend his crown and become only the second repeat winner of the Lennox Stakes.
Now an 8 year-old, Breton Rock was the oldest winner of the race when he took the prize twelve months ago. Prior to that victory, every previous winner was aged three, four or five years-old. This season he’s been lightly-raced, with just one previous outing that resulted in a well-beaten fifth in the Group Three Diomed Stakes at Epsom in June. He’s a horse that does have better form with some degree of cut in the ground, so any rain would certainly be a plus, but last year’s success did come on a good surface. However, he’s also a horse that has turned into a specialist over this seven-furlong trip – eight of his ten career victories have been over this distance. He’ll, of course, have it to do again as he’s another year older but connections have clearly had this race as a target for him all season and if able to come with another storming run in the closing stages can’t be ruled out.
There is every chance we could also see last year’s third – Suedois – running too. This David O’Meara-trained six year-old was only beaten half a length and a short-head last year and after being highly-tried this season at the top level will appreciate the slight drop in class. Having said that, he was a top Group One winner over in America last October, when taking the very lucrative Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes at Keeneland. The drop back to seven furlongs is fine too, having won over this trip, while his last three tries at this distance have seen him finish third each time. Recent below-par efforts in the Queen Anne Stakes (Royal Ascot) and the Lockinge Stakes (Newbury) suggest he’s got a bit to prove but he’s a horse that took a few races to wind-up last season and, as we know, this is also a contest he’s gone close in before.
Sticking with the theme of last year’s race, we could also have the 2017 fourth – Limato – in the line-up again. This Henry Candy runner was sent off the 3/1 favourite for the race last year and having finished just a nose behind Suedois (third) then this six year-old wouldn’t have much to find. He’s also taken the same path this season as Suedois by finishing down the field in both the Lockinge Stakes and Queen Anne Stakes, but the drop back in trip looks like being a big plus for this horse. He’s struggled to stay the distance when upped to a mile but his career form over this seven-furlong trip has a much better look to it. He’s raced five times over seven furlongs – winning three times and finishing in the top four every time. With stamina concerns over the longer trips then soft ground would be a worry, however, he’s unlikely to be risked should the rain come anyway. A good surface, or quicker, would make him a real player at this Group Two level having won twice from the four times he’s been dropped in this class.
The final one to get a mention that ran in the last year is So Beloved – he was fifth, just half a length adrift of Limato. Another of the older brigade and a horse that has plenty of experience under his belt, having raced forty-eight times and winning on six occasions. He rarely runs a bad race having finished within six lengths of the winner in all of his last fifteen starts. These days he’s often campaigned over this seven-furlong trip and has won on a variety of different grounds varying from soft to firm. He was last seen running another solid race when second in the Group Three Criterion Stakes at Newmarket so clearly still retains plenty of ability and should also strip a lot fitter for that last outing. However, the big concern is that So Beloved simply doesn’t win enough these days. He’s now on a run of twenty-four races without getting his head in front, with the last of those successes coming back in August 2015. That long losing streak would have to be a worry.
The Aidan O’Brien yard can be expected to target a few at the race but it might be worth noting they are yet to win this race. It’s also a prize the Sir Michael Stoute camp are yet to land, but with their impressive Jersey Stakes winner Expert Eye they could easily change that this year if aimed here. This three year-old was one of the talking horses of last season after running away with the Group Two Vintage Stakes at this meeting twelve months ago. He took that race by an easy four and a half lengths and was billed as the next big thing with the layers running scared ahead of the betting for this year’s Classics. However, he then flopped at odds-on in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket last October and with that his tall reputation was shattered in one race.
Okay, every horse – even the greats – can be forgiven one bad run so really it was too early to write this Stoute horse off. Punters did give him another chance as he was sent off favourite again on his return run in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury earlier this season but was beaten into second by James Garfield. With that, his price was now out to double-figures for the 2000 Guineas and those odds proved to be correct after flopping again when only tenth – beaten just over nine lengths. The Stoute yard must have been scratching their heads with him as it was clear he has a lot of ability. He was next seen dropped in trip and grade at Royal Ascot in the Group Three Jersey Stakes back in June. That combination, as well as the quick ground, saw him romp back to form as he came home by just over four lengths and by winning the Jersey Stakes had gone a little way to restoring some of the belief connections had in him. Backing that success up in the Lennox Stakes would, therefore, continue that resurgence of form, while being a proven course and distance winner, and if running to the level of form of that recent Ascot win, then he’d be a big player in this race.
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