Glorious Goodwood beins on a Tuesday and helping the opening day live up to expectations is the Lennox Stakes. This seven furlong race is named after the Duke of Lennox, one of the dukedoms held by course owner, the Duke of Richmond, Charles Gordon-Lennox.
The Lennox Stakes was first run in the year 2000 and replaced the Beeswing Stakes which took place at Newcastle. Initially a Group 3 contest, this was promoted to Group 2 in 2003.
The first winner in 2000, John Gosden’s Observatory, went on to win the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot later that season. Observatory sired Twice Over, a two-time Champion Stakes winner with both running in the famous colours of Khalid Abdulla.
Lennox Stakes Past Winners
|2020||Space Blues||2/1||Charlie Appleby||William Buick|
|2019||Sir Dancealot||6/1||David Elsworth||Gerald Mosse|
|2018||Sir Dancealot||5/1||David Elsworth||Gerald Mosse|
|2017||Breton Rock||50/1||David Simcock||Andrea Atzeni|
|2016||Dutch Connection||9/4||Charlie Hills||James McDonald|
|2015||Toormore||9/4||Richard Hannon Jr||James Doyle|
|2014||Es Que Love||7/1||Clive Cox||Adam Kirby|
|2013||Garswood||9/4||Richard Fahey||Ryan Moore|
|2012||Chachamaidee||5/4||Sir Henry Cecil||Tom Queally|
|2011||Strong Suit||5/2||Richard Hannon Sr.||Richard Hughes|
About the Lennox Stakes: Seven Furlong Sizzler at Glorious Goodwood
One of the great things about the British flat racing season is the multitude of spectacular festivals on the fixture list. June may belong to the Royal Ascot spectacular, but in late July/early August each year it is the Sussex venue of Goodwood which takes centre stage with the five-day Glorious Meeting.
Group race contests are sprinkled generously throughout this outstanding festival, with one of the highlights on the opening Tuesday being this Group 2 affair held over the specialist trip of seven furlongs.
The “Lennox” of the races title refers to the Duke of Lennox, which is one of the titles held by the owner of Goodwood racecourse. Known as the Betfair Cup between 2004 and 2010, fellow betting firm bet365 have also lent their support to the race over the course of its lifetime. The backing of Qatar for the Goodwood Festival as a whole has resulted in a significant increase in prize money, with this race offering a total purse of £300,000 in 2019 though as with many flat races, this was reduced to £100,000 in 2020.
Open to all runners aged three and older, the race is a relatively new addition to the Glorious Goodwood roster, having first been held in the year 2000. In common with most Group 2 events, there are penalties in place for previous wins at Group 1 (five pounds) or Group 2 (three pounds) level. Three year olds receive seven pounds from their elders, whilst the fillies and mares receive an additional three pounds from the colts and geldings.
An Even Playing Field
There are times of the season when the three year old performers are thought to be at an advantage due to the weight allowance they receive in these open group class events. That doesn’t really seem to the case here though. The three year olds do boast the most wins as of 2019, but there really isn’t much in it, with both the four and five year olds only one win behind.
It would however appear that it is difficult for those older than five to make their presence felt. Special mention must therefore go to 2017 champ Breton Rock, who at seven years of age was the oldest winner in the history of the event.
Two The Magic Number?
No doubt this stat may change before too long, but one interesting trend across the opening 20 editions of the contest, is that whilst there are multiple trainers, jockeys and horses to have won the race twice, none have yet managed a third victory.
Two-Time Lennox Stakes Winners
|Marcus Tregoning||Eddie Ahern||Nayyir|
|Gerard Butler||Kerrin McEvoy||Sir Dancealot|
|Saeed bin Suroor||Richard Hughes|
|Sir Henry Cecil||Tom Queally|
|David Elsworth||Gerald Mosse|
A Stepping Stone To Group 1 Success
For many previous winners, success in this race has been the standout victory of their career. There is no shame in that, of course, with this being a major Group class contest at one of the biggest festival of the season. There are however others who have gone on to prove themselves at the very top level.
For instance, 2005 champ Court Masterpiece seemed to have a particular affinity for Goodwood, with four of his seven career successes coming at the venue. Those wins included a victory in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes in 2006. Inaugural winner Observatory meanwhile went on to become a dual Group 1 winner in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Prix d’Ispahan.
Possibly the pick of the bunch though was Richard Hannon Senior’s 2008 hero, Paco Boy. In addition to a Group 1 hat-trick in the Prix de la Foret, Queen Anne Stakes and Lockinge Stakes, Paco Boy also went on to significant success at stud – siring 2,000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold (who triumphed in 2016).