Kinross returns to ideal distance in search of Lennox repeat

By Sports Desk July 31, 2023

Kinross returns to his optimum trip with connections confident he can reclaim his World Pool Lennox Stakes crown at Goodwood on Tuesday.

Few trainers head to the Sussex Downs with their team in better form than Ralph Beckett, who has been operating at a 30 per cent strike-rate in recent weeks.

And Kinross lines up against seven rivals in the seven-furlong Group Two contest, a race he won two years ago and finished a neck second to Sandrine last year, with a favourite’s chance.

He has won his last three over the trip, including the Prix de la Foret, and is a dual top-level winner following last term’s British Champions Sprint success.

The consistent Kingman gelding, who will be ridden by Frankie Dettori, went close to making it a hat-trick of Group One victories with a close-up third to Shaquille in the July Cup at Newmarket last time.

“He is a year older now, but he was unlucky not to win it last year and he did win it the year before, so it looks a great spot to get back to winning ways,” said Jamie McCalmont, racing manager for owner Marc Chan.

“There is no doubt this is his best distance. He likes the course and he’s justifiably the favourite, even though that doesn’t mean he will win the race.”

This will be the first opportunity for three-year-old Isaac Shelby to take on his elders.

The Brian Meehan-trained Night Of Thunder colt, who is in receipt of 6lb from Kinross and 9lb from Al Suhail, won the Superlative last season and the Greenham on his first run this term over the same distance.

Upped to a mile, he was beaten a short neck in the French 2000 Guineas, before being a little too keen on quicker ground when a well-held fourth to Paddington in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“He’s back to seven (furlongs) and hopefully that will see him in his best light,” said Richard Brown, racing adviser for owners Wathnan Racing.

“It’s a tight, competitive race and Kinross will be tough to beat. But the horse is in great form and we’re looking forward to it.

“He got lit up and things didn’t really go to plan at Ascot. I’m not trying to use an excuse and saying he would have won there, but back in trip and back in grade here, he should be thereabouts.”

Connections of top weight Al Suhail will keep a close eye on the weather before deciding whether he will run.

A five-time winner over the trip, he was third in the Group One Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night before a creditable sixth in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Charlie Appleby told www.godolphin.com: “Al Suhail has come out of Ascot well, although he has a penalty here for his win in the Al Fahidi Fort.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him back over seven, which is probably his best trip, and the course at Goodwood might suit.

“We will be keeping an eye on the weather as his participation would be in doubt if there was significant rain.”

Trained by John and Thady Gosden, Audience has won twice since being gelded and followed up a Leicester success in October with a two-length win in the Group Three Criterion Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket on his seasonal bow.

Chris Richardson, managing director of owner Cheveley Park Stud, said: “This race is the natural progression really and he came out of the Newmarket race well.

“He has not been straightforward, but gelding seems to have worked and we are now seeing what we were seeing on the gallops, but not on the racecourse.

“He was just not performing on the track as we thought he would and should have been. It was just one of those rather frustrating things, but it was lovely to see him bounce back and follow up the previous win with such an emphatic success.”

Related items

  • Skelton edges in front of Mullins in epic trainers’ title tussle Skelton edges in front of Mullins in epic trainers’ title tussle

    Dan Skelton edged back to the top of the table for the British jumps trainers’ championship after a crucial treble at Ayr.

    The Alcester trainer was a little shy of £31,000 adrift of Irish champion Willie Mullins on the leaderboard ahead of the meeting, the first day of the valuable Coral Scottish Grand National fixture which could prove so pivotal in the destination of the title, in which Paul Nicholls will also have a big say.

    Shakeyatailfeather finished second in the Abbott Risk Consulting Mares’ Maiden Hurdle and Catch Him Derry landed the Get Home Safe With Thistle Cabs Handicap Hurdle as the 5-6 favourite to kick off Skelton’s afternoon, after which Punta Del Este outran odds of 25-1 to take the feature Coral “We’re Here For It” Handicap Hurdle, which was worth £16,338 to the winner.

    Theformismighty finished fourth in the same race to add another £1,884 to the total, with Presenting Nelly duly providing another victory at 5-1 in division two of the GS Group ‘Hands & Heels’ Handicap Hurdle that brought the day to a close.

    For that win she pocketed £5,281, putting Skelton back in front by just under £5,000 heading into Saturday, where he has 10 entries across Ayr and Bangor and when Mullins will play his hand with three horses in the Scottish Champion Hurdle and six in the Scottish Grand National.

    Speaking to Racing TV after Punta Del Este’s win, Skelton said: “I’m sure all the mathematicians will be calculating it all, but tomorrow’s the important day for the championship.

    “The three of us are in the Scottish Grand National and in all the races really, tomorrow will be a big day.

    “It’s a privilege to have the owners come up here and be looked after Ayr, the track is always in as good condition as it can be and given the winter we’ve had I think they’ve done a great job with that.

    “Every course has its unique atmosphere and the Scottish Grand National is unique indeed.

    “L’Eau Du Sud is the obvious one for the Scottish Champion Hurdle, he’s the favourite for the race after a very good run at Cheltenham.

    Nicholls, meanwhile, claimed his share of the prize-money on offer to keep himself competitive ahead of the two big weekends to come, with the season drawing to a close at Sandown in a week’s time.

    Nicholls was in fact the first trainer to strike a blow at Ayr as Outlaw Peter won the Hillhouse Quarry Handicap Chase under Harry Cobden as the 7-2 joint-favourite.

    Nicholls also took home some of place money on offer, with Beau Balko finishing third in the Seko Logistics Scotland Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase and Don’t Tell Su the runner-up of the GS Group “Hands & Heels” Handicap Hurdle.

  • Ffrench Davis would love to target Chester Cup with Prince Alex Ffrench Davis would love to target Chester Cup with Prince Alex

    Dominic Ffrench Davis would love a crack at the Chester Cup with Prince Alex having seen him make a winning return to action in the Compton Beauchamp Estates Ltd Silver Bar Handicap at Newbury.

    With last year’s Chester hero Metier and another leading fancy in Spartan Army behind him, Ffrench Davis has every right to be thinking that way, if the seven-year-old makes the cut.

    He has been well travelled in the Amo Racing colours, being with Ralph Beckett initially before moving to Michael Bell, then Johnny Murtagh and Tom Dascombe and then Lambourn.

    Yet despite his advancing years, the 10-1 chance – fourth in this race 12 months ago – looked a rejuvenated character in fending off Robert Johnson by a length and three-quarters.

    “It was a super performance and he’s been moving very well at home,” said French Davis.

    “He wintered with us, he’s a seven-year-old now and I think he probably had a few aches and pains. We gave him a good break over the winter and he’s come back a better horse and is moving beautifully. He used to hang a bit and he doesn’t hang at all now.

    “I think he’s feeling well in himself now and has slipped to a rating that he’s always been a bit better than. This was a bit of a warm up for the Chester Cup and it was also to see if he stayed the two miles.

    “I didn’t have him last year and I had a horse in this race finish second and I was watching this one thinking ‘oooh he’s cantering’ and he didn’t finish off his race. But he was probably feeling a few aches and pains and when we got him in Lambourn at the end of last season he ran two very solid races.

    “I thought starting off I best give him another go at two miles and both times we ran him he looked like he wanted it. We decided to aim at these staying races and he’s in a great frame of mind. He’s improved no end in the last couple of weeks and he’s not quite there in his coat so he is going to improve again.

    “Let’s hope there is a little bit of soft at Chester and we can have a crack. It’s a great prize and he switches off lovely. If the ground is suitable, let’s have a go.”

    Unfortunately the news for Ffrench Davis’ 1000 Guineas hope Persian Dreamer is not so positive and she is now unlikely to make the fillies’ Classic.

    “She’s had a little minor setback in pre-training and we’re giving her time to get over that and we’re not sure when we will have her back in full training,” he said.

    “I think it is likely she will miss the Guineas and she’s in Ireland just trying to get over her setback.

    “It’s disappointing and we might not get our ground anyway in the Guineas, she is a filly who loves to get her toe in and she might not get the ground at Newmarket to run her there.”

  • Derby bid on the agenda for Voyage after belated debut win Derby bid on the agenda for Voyage after belated debut win

    Owner Julie Wood is dreaming of Derby glory with Voyage after seeing her patience being rewarded with a debut victory in the Darley Novice Stakes at Newbury.

    Sent off a relatively unconsidered 28-1 chance and seemingly the second string of Richard Hannon behind Sam Hawkens, Voyage travelled like a dream for Pat Dobbs.

    While all his rivals were under pressure entering the final furlong, Dobbs was sat motionless at the head of the pincer movement.

    The worry was, having travelled so well up to that point, what would he find under pressure? The answer was plenty, as while several made ground from the rear, including Harry Charlton’s Vanish, he could only close to within a length and three-quarters.

    “Julie was right by giving the horse a lot of time last year and we brought him here to do a piece of work after the last National Hunt meeting and he worked OK there, but was a bit keen,” said Hannon.

    “I liked the horse that finished fifth (Sam Hawkens) a lot and this is not a complete surprise, as he’s shown plenty, but you know what Julie is like, she likes to have a go at the big ones.”

    Wood said: “You never know what you have until you ask them, you never know what you’re sitting on.

    “I wasn’t worried about the soft ground, but we were just a bit worried about him settling and he still seemed to be finding plenty at the end of the race and Pat didn’t really need to get serious with him, he just pushed him out and the horse changed legs and he was off.

    “I have always had a dream of having a horse good enough to line up in the Derby and maybe this is it? To come here today and win in that going is a good effort and Pat rode him really well.

    “It’s great to be back at Newbury and to have a horse come up the straight like that against some quality, well-bred animals is really something.

    “It’s my 24th year with Richard and I’m still enjoying it, still as fresh as ever. Every season you have new hope and however the dice roll, we’re there to play them and we’ll enjoy every moment.

    “I don’t know whether we go straight to the Derby and obviously we need to get a minimum rating to run in the Derby, which he might get after today’s performance.

    “We will see how he comes out of today, we have enough time to do something (a trial) but we haven’t entered him anything – today was the aim and the Derby was the hope.”

    Royal Ascot could beckon for Hannon’s Hawaiian following a smooth winning debut in the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup EBF Maiden Stakes.

    A field of eight unraced juveniles lined up from some of the biggest yards in the country, with Hannon’s Kodiac colt sent off the 11-8 favourite.

    Sean Levey was always in command on Sheikh Mohammed Obaid’s homebred, and while the winning distance over Clive Cox’s Star Anthem was only a neck, he never truly looked in any danger of being beaten.

    Fresh from winning the Craven Stakes with Haatem on Thursday, Hannon clearly has his string in good order at this early stage of the season.

    “He did a bit of work at Kempton and I thought it was a little bit too good to be true,” said Hannon.

    “He’s done everything so easily at home, he hasn’t learned anything and he might have just learned something today.

    “Sean said if he had made the running, it might have made it easier, but we think a fair bit of him and he’s a fast horse who we will stick to five furlongs with at the moment.

    “It’s a bit early doors to be talking about Royal Ascot, but we might look at a Lily Agnes or something on the way. He will need one more run before Ascot just to be sure.

    “He’s very fast, knows his job and that will do him good. I hope he is an Ascot horse and he travelled great. That experience under his belt will do him good and I think he will improve a lot from that, like all ours do.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.