Glorious Goodwood starts in style on Tuesday, when three Group races are staged.
The feature race of the opening day is the seven-furlong £140,000 Group Two bet365 Lennox Stakes (3.10pm) which has attracted seven runners, headed by Libranno, successful on his last two starts, Classic-placed Foxtrot Romeo and Chachamaidee from Sir Henry Cecil’s Newmarket stable.
Four-year-old Libranno is trained by Richard Hannon, the leading handler at Glorious Goodwood in three of of the past four years, and has a liking for the Sussex course, having been successful in the Group Two Audi Richmond Stakes as a juvenile and the Group Three Supreme Stakes last year, both over seven furlongs.
Richard Hughes, in the saddle on those occasions, takes the ride again and was also on board when Libranno won the Group Three Criterion Stakes at Newmarket last time out (June 30) over seven furlongs and succeeded in a Salisbury six-furlong Listed race 13 days earlier. Hannon and Hughes combined to win the bet365 Lennox Stakes last year with Strong Suit and in 2008 with Paco Boy.
Foxtrot Romeo, a three-year-old son of Danehill Dancer, ran well to be sixth behind Most Improved in the Group One St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 19, beaten four lengths. The Bryan Smart-trained colt started this season by finishing a terrific second to Power in the Group One Irish 2,000 Guineas in May
The five-year-old mare Chachamaidee was only beaten a neck by Joviality in the Group Two Windsor Forest Stakes over a mile at Royal Ascot last month and already knows what it is like to win over course and distance at Glorious Goodwood, having captured the Group Three Oaks Tree Stakes last year.
Edinburgh Knight is one of the four other runners and the five-year-old’s trainer Paul D’Arcy is hoping that William Buick, the jockey of the moment, will make it third time lucky on the Selkirk gelding.
The Newmarket trainer explained: “I gave William his first winner but have not had one off him since so hopefully the next will be on Tuesday.”
Buick first partnered Edinburgh Knight in the Criterion Stakes at Newmarket when the partnership went down by half a length to Libranno and then last time out when beaten the same margin by Field Of Dream in the Betfair Summer Double International Heritage Handicap at Ascot on July 21.
D’Arcy thinks the most recent run was Edinburgh Knight’s best and considers him an unlucky loser.
He said: “Edinburgh Knight was hampered coming out of the stalls at Ascot and got stopped in his run over a furlong out but was only beaten by a fast-finishing horse on the other side of the course.
“He keeps hitting the crossbar, which is frustrating, but he is running well. I said to the owners early in his career that he would not be a proper racehorse until he was five.
“He has run before at Goodwood, in last year’s Stewards’ Cup over six furlongs. He used to go flat out in his races which is why he was sprinting but we worked with him and he now settles. He just gets a mile but is suited by seven furlongs.
“My main worry on Tuesday is that it is going to be a bit of a tactical race, with little or no pace. It is now up to the jockey.”
The opening day also features the £60,000 Group Three bet365 Gordon Stakes (2.35pm) over a mile and a half and five of the seven runners hold entries in the final Classic of the British season, the St Leger.
Michelangelo, trained by John Gosden and partnered by Buick, Frankel’s brother Noble Mission, Queen’s Vase third Ed De Gas, Godolphin’s Encke and the Andrew Baldingtrained Minimise Risk have entries in the Leger. Farhaan, locally trained by John Dunlop, and German raider Girolamo are the other two runners.
Fast two-year-olds get their chance for glory in the £40,000 Group Three bet365 Molecomb Stakes (3.45pm) over five furlongs, for which there are 12 runners, with the Hannon-trained pair Lyric Ace and Dominate having good chances.
The bet365.com Handicap (2pm) starts the racing on Tuesday, when there is a seven-race card ending at 5.25pm.
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