Es Que Love lands Lennox
Last Updated: 29/07/14 4:47pm
Consistent sprinter Es Que Love earned a deserved return to the winner's enclosure with a stylish performance in the bet365 Lennox Stakes.
Since joining trainer Clive Cox from Mark Johnston at the start of the season, Es Que Love has been placed in the Abernant at Newmarket, the Duke of York Stakes and most recently the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury.
Sent off at 7-1 stepping up to seven furlongs for the first time this year, Es Que Love travelled with real panache in the hands of Adam Kirby, who appeared at pains to ensure he did not hit the front too soon.
Last year's champion juvenile Toormore, sent off the 5-6 favourite to bounce back from a couple of disappointing efforts in the 2000 Guineas and the St James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, was up with pace from the outset and was in front inside the final furlong.
However, he was unable to stop Es Que Love quickening by him close home and there was a neck in it at the line.
Toomore's stable companion Anjaal finished off strongly to grab third, with last year's winner Garswood only fourth.
Kirby said: "(I'm) really pleased with him. We all thought we were coming here with a massive chance. He loves the track, he loves the ground.
"They didn't feel to me they went very quick and I travelled very strong. He's come there on the bridle and he's done it easy to be fair to him.
"We learnt quite a lot about him last time. He's not ungenuine, but today we thought we'd play it a bit later and it paid off.
"He's in real good form and Clive's done a great job."
Cox said: "I'm delighted to win this because we've missed out a couple of times before with Dunelight and it's a race I've always wanted to win so it's nice to get it in the bag.
"We've won a Group Two and he's well-entered now for the rest of the year. I'm not sure where we'll go but he's versatile on trip, he's even run over five furlongs but I think this is his best distance.
"He is versatile in that he is quick enough for six furlongs but is clearly able over seven. I think this is his ground today - he enjoyed that very much. He is in the Hungerford and the Park Stakes and we will see how we go in between. .
"I am so pleased. I have a great team at home - Kevin Harris rides him at home everyday. It was nobody's fault there was no pace in the Hackwood Stakes and Adam (Kirby) took a calculated decision taking it up two furlongs out and he didn't quite last home.
"We came here with that confidence - we knew that we had to ride him a little bit more patiently - and Adam did a super job.
"He has always been a good horse and I am just grateful to have a horse of this calibre in the yard. That's how he works at home in the morning and we just wanted to bottle it and bring it here today."
Paying tribute to the winning rider, Cox added: "When Adam rode his first winner for Gay Kelleway around Wolverhampton, he came and rode for me a horse called Ionian Spring shortly after. Ionian Spring was a difficult ride - Pat Eddery used to get on really well with him - and Adam jumped on him as a 7lb claimer and I had never seen the like of somebody settle a horse so easily.
"Then he formed a good relationship with a sprinter we had called Out After Dark, who won the Gosforth Cup and the Portland. I am pleased to say that we have shared many successes since and I am delighted to have a man of his calibre on board."
It was a 24th Goodwood win for Cox and his seventh at the Glorious Goodwood meeting
Connections of Toormore did not hide their disappointment but were left feeling that there are still races to be won with him.
"I'm disappointed (Toormore) didn't win but he's run a good race," said Hannon.
"It probably suited the winner as he's got a better turn of foot.
"He ran much better than he did at Ascot and we'll find something similar. He was obviously a very good two-year-old and he's not as good a three-year-old, that's all there is to it.
"But he's still a very decent horse and can still end up back in Group Ones. He needs to win something first and then go back up again."
On the other hand, Hannon was pleased with Anjaal, who showed a revival in form by sticking on well for third place.
"Anjaal has run his best race since the July Stakes, he loses his Group Two penalty and there'll be races for him," said the trainer.