GOODWOOD, ENGLAND // Godolphin’s acquisition policy this season has been something of a curate’s egg, but Toormore showed why the Dubai-based operation stepped in to buy him with a gutsy victory in the Lennox Stakes on Tuesday.
Toormore looked to be an eyebrow-raising purchase two weeks ago having not won since April of last season, but he knuckled down under James Doyle to beat Royal Ascot winner Dutch Connection by three-quarters of a length.
Safety Check ran a huge race in the 1,400-metre contest on his first start since winning the Zabeel Mile at Meydan in February to be only a head behind in third.
Toormore was the British champion juvenile two seasons ago, and this win should act as the confidence booster that he looked to sorely need. Whether he can regain the heights of his two-year-old career will be interesting to see, and his first opportunity could come in the Group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville next month.
“He is a really tough racehorse,” Godolphin’s John Ferguson said. “James is adamant that a mile is his best distance, but we have Night Of Thunder and Belardo in the Sussex Stakes, so Toormore ran here. He is a horse who will stay in training next year and with which we can have a lot of fun in international races.”
Qatar marked their first sponsorship of the Goodwood Festival when Al Shaqab’s Galileo Gold won the Group 2 Vintage Stakes under Frankie Dettori in the preceding race.
The Vintage Stakes is a traditional pointer to next season’s Classics and Galileo Gold is likely to be seen next in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagadere at Longchamp on the Qatar-sponsored Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend.
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