Glorious Goodwood: Lennox, King George and Lillie Langtry line-ups look strong
Royal Ascot winnerÂ Expert EyeÂ and G1 St James's Palace Stakes secondÂ Gustav KlimtÂ feature among 43 entries revealed for the Â£300,000 G2 Qatar Lennox Stakes on day one of the 2018 Qatar Goodwood Festival.
Gustav Klimt, one of seven entries for Britain and Ireland's champion Flat trainer Aidan O'Brien, stayed on well to finish a half-length behind unbeaten Without Parole in the G1 St James's Palace Stakes over a mile at Royal Ascot on June 19.
O'Brien's entries for the Goodwood race - which takes place on Tuesday, July 31 - also include G1 Cheveley Park Stakes victor Clemmie, G3 Jersey Stakes third Could It Be Love as well as G2 scorer Spirit Of Valor and G3 winner Intelligence Cross.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Expert Eye bounced back to form with a sparkling four and a half-length success in the G3 Jersey Stakes (7f) at the Royal Meeting on June 20. The three-year-old son of Acclamation registered a thrilling four and a half-length victory in the G2 Qatar Vintage Stakes over seven furlongs at the 2017 Qatar Goodwood Festival.
Two previous winners of the G2 Qatar Lennox Stakes, 2016 scorer Dutch Connection (Charlie Hills) and shock 2017 victor Breton Rock (David Simcock) are also entered for this year's renewal.
QIPCO 2000 Guineas runner-up Tip Two Win finished fourth in the G1 St James's Palace Stakes and Lambourn valley handler Roger Teal is eyeing a tilt at the Qatar Goodwood Festival with the progressive three-year-old.
The son of Dark Angel has won two of his three starts over seven furlongs, including a convincing two-length victory in the Listed Flying Scotsman Stakes at Doncaster in September.
Teal, based at Shefford Valley Stables, said: "Tip Two Win is in good form at home and has come out of his run at Royal Ascot fine. We have entered Tip Two Win in the Qatar Lennox Stakes and we might end up running in the race. The Lennox is over seven furlongs and my thought process is that if we are going to take on older horses for the first time, I would prefer to do it over seven.
"The G1 Qatar Sussex Stakes is over a mile, but he is a late foal and I feel that it will be a different test for him to take on horses of all ages and therefore, we are keen to go back to seven furlongs. I have been very proud of his efforts this year. We were slightly disappointed with his run in the St James's Palace as we felt he could have finished closer if things had turned out differently in the race.
"Things didn't quite go to plan as we were caught behind horses early and he was slow away from the stalls and pulled hard. However, that's racing and it was another solid run and we're looking forward to the rest of the season. He is having a little quiet time at the moment after his Ascot exertions and we will start riding him again next week."
North Yorkshire handler Mark Johnston has an excellent record at the Qatar Goodwood Festival. He could run G2 winner Threading, who was the G1 Coronation Stakes runner-up at Royal Ascot and won the Markel Insurance Fillies' Maiden on debut by six lengths at the 2017 Qatar Goodwood Festival,along with recent Listed scorers Lake Volta and Cardsharp.
Recent Wokingham Heritage Handicap winner Bacchus (Brian Meehan), G1 Commonwealth Cup ninth Invincible Army (James Tate) and G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes fifth Projection (Roger Charlton) are other entries.
The Andrew Balding-trained Here Comes When, a narrow winner of the G1 Qatar Sussex Stakes at the 2017 Qatar Goodwood Festival, is also entered. He could be joined by stable companions Absolutely So and Donjuan Triumphant.
The Henry Candy-trained Limato has won three of his five starts over seven furlongs, but was only fourth when the 3/1 favourite for the 2017 Qatar Lennox Stakes. The six-year-old son of Tagula has finished down the field the G1 Lockinge Stakes and the G1 Queen Anne Stakes, both over a mile, so far this year.
Progressive three-year-olds Fighting Irish (Harry Dunlop), Emaraaty (John Gosden) and Emmaus (Roger Varian), as well as talented five-year-olds Tasleet (William Haggas) and Zonderland (Clive Cox), are other possible starters.
30 for upgraded Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes
The newly-upgraded G2 Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes, with boosted prize money of £300,000, forms part of a stellar card on day three of the Qatar Goodwood Festival, Ladies' Day, on Thursday, August 2.
Established in 2003, the 14-furlong race for fillies and mares became a G3 in 2004 and this year's renewal has been promoted to G2 status, attracting 30 entries and boasting plenty of strength in depth.
Newmarket trainer Luca Cumani could saddle the progressive God Given, who scored in determined fashion in a 12-furlong G3 contest at Haydock Park on her latest outing on June 9, in which What A Home (William Haggas), Mam'selle (William Haggas) and Cribbs Causeway (Roger Charlton) were all beaten.
God Given's stable companion Alwaysandforever was defeated a short-head defeat by Isabel De Urbina (Ralph Beckett) in the Listed Pontefract Castle Fillies' Stakes over 12 furlongs on June 24 and the pair could renew their rivalry at Goodwood, with the fifth Jet Streaming (Ian Williams) another possible.
Dance The Dream (Marcus Tregoning) has been off the track since finishing a creditable sixth in the November Handicap at Doncaster over a mile and a half, but recorded some fine efforts in 2017, including third to Ajman Princess in the Listed Daisy Warwick Stakes at Goodwood (1m 4f) in May, 2017.
Star Rock (Hughie Morrison) has not raced since landing a 10-furlong Listed event at Doncaster in November. The four-year-old daughter of Fastnet Rock defeated God Given and Cribbs Causeway in 12-furlong events at Newmarket in May and September, 2017, respectively.
Trainer Hughie Morrison, based in East Ilsley, said: "We have been waiting for some soft ground for Star Rock, and I hope I won't still be waiting for some soft ground come Goodwood. She is ready to go and we would like to run her at the end of next week, if possible. Then hopefully she can go on to the Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes, as that would be a nice race to aim for.
"I think she will get the mile and six furlongs, although it may be that a mile and a half on soft ground proves to be her optimum conditions."
Newmarket handler John Gosden has three interesting entries, headed by Precious Ramotswe, who has won four of her five starts. The four-year-old daughter of Nathaniel, owned and bred by Anthony Oppenheimer, captured a G3 event at York over a mile and six furlongs on her latest start in May and could be joined by G2 Ribblesdale sixth Highgarden and maiden Sacred Path, who has yet to win in two starts.
Aidan O'Brien, Britain and Ireland's champion trainer, has two entries courtesy of recent G3 winner Flattering, who finished fifth behind stable companion Forever Together in the G1 Investec Oaks and maiden Queen Iseult.
O'Brien's son Joseph could be represented by Detailed who was fourth, just behind Melodic Motion (Ralph Beckett), in the G2 Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster in September and landed a Listed contest at Limerick towards the back-end of last season.
G2 Middleton Stakes second Horseplay (Andrew Balding), the unexposed Pilaster (Roger Varian), winner of a novice event on the All-Weather at Chelmsford in May as well as Lady Bergamot (James Fanshawe), who got the better of White Chocolate (David Simcock) in handicap company over a mile and six furlongs at Chelmsford, are also entered.
Previous winners Battaash, Take Cover and Muthmir among strong 27 for £300,000 King George Qatar Stakes
Last year's winner, the Charlie Hills-trained Battaash, features among 27 entries (up from 24 in 2017) for the 2018 G2 King George Qatar Stakes. The five-furlong contest is the highlight of day four of the Qatar Goodwood Festival on Friday, August 3 and boasts a £300,000 prize fund.
Battaash registered an impressive success in the 2017 renewal of the G2 King George Qatar Stakes, scoring by two and a quarter-lengths under Jim Crowley. He ended 2017 as the highest-rated five-furlong performer in the world after a spectacular victory in the G1 Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp.
The four-year-old son of Dark Angel, who finished creditable second to Godolphin's Blue Point in the G1 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 19, is aiming to be the eighth dual winner of the Goodwood sprint.
David Griffiths' stable star Take Cover could become the first three-time winner of the G2 King George Qatar Stakes following wins in 2014 and 2016.
The evergreen 11-year-old remains in good heart, recording Listed victories at Beverley and Dundalk, plus taking a G3 contest at Newbury at the backend of last season, after finishing fourth to Battaash in the 2017 renewal of the King George Qatar Stakes.
The son of Singspiel was a creditable third under top-weight in a conditions event at Beverley on June 19 and next heads to York for the City Walls Stakes at York (July 14), a contest he won in 2014 and 2017.
Griffiths, based at Martin Hall Farm in Bawtry, revealed: "Take Cover is in fine fettle and has come out of his latest race at Beverley in good form. He was third that day, but he was giving an awful lot of weight away to his rivals, so all in all, we were pleased with the performance. He will now head back to the City Walls Stakes, a race he is bidding to win for the third time, before heading to Goodwood again for the King George Qatar Stakes.
"I think he likes Goodwood because it is a quick track. He likes the undulations of the course and just seems well suited to the track in general - he loves going down that hill. Goodwood is one of the quickest five furlongs in the country and he relishes the track.
"He still seems to love the game at the age of 11. He won three Listed races and a G3 event last season and has been a stable star throughout his career. Take Cover is a pleasure to have in the yard and it would be special if he were to win the King George Qatar Stakes for a third time."
Griffiths could also saddle 2013 Dash winner Duke Of Firenze, who finished a creditable sixth in this year's renewal of the five-furlong handicap at Epsom Downs.
The nine-year-old son of Pivotal heads to the Curragh this Saturday, June 30, for the Tote Rockingham Handicap over five furlongs, but the King George Qatar Stakes is also under consideration for the gelding.
Griffiths remarked: "Duke Of Firenze ran well in the Dash at Epsom and it a completely different horse to Take Cover in many ways. He was seventh in the Temple Stakes at Haydock behind Battaash, but the ground was a bit too quick for him on that occasion as he would like some cut.
"He runs at the Curragh on Saturday and we're hopeful of a good performance. They do a great job with the track out there and hopefully conditions will suit. If the ground isn't too quick, he would have a good chance in the race. We have entered him in the King George Qatar Stakes at Goodwood and we may well take up that option.
"We will see how he is after the Curragh and how he gets on, but it's a race we wanted to enter him in and we'll think strongly about running."
Aidan O'Brien, Britain and Ireland's champion trainer, has made 10 entries, headed by G1 the King's Stand Stakes sixth and eighth, Different League and Washington DC, as well as unexposed three-year-olds Murillo and Dali, with the latter having recorded a comfortable two-length victory in Listed company at Naas on June 18.
Havana Grey (Karl Burke) tasted success at the 2017 Qatar Goodwood Festival when readily defeating Invincible Army (James Tate) in the G3 Markel Insurance Molecomb Stakes, also over five furlongs. Havana Grey finished sixth to Battaash in the G2 Temple Stakes on his latest outing.
2015 King George Qatar Stakes winner Muthmir (William Haggas) returned to the winner's enclosure when relishing the step into Listed company in the Achilles Stakes at Haydock on June 9, whilst speedball Kachy (Tom Dascombe), third to Battaash in the Temple Stakes at Haydock in May, is also entered for the King George Qatar Stakes.
The unexposed Equilateral, a disappointing 12th in the G1 Commonwealth Cup over six furlongs at the Royal Meeting, could join stable companion Battaash in the line-up, whilst Dreamfield (John Gosden), narrowly touched off when the 2/1 favourite for the ultra-competitive six-furlong Wokingham Handicap, also features among the entries for the five-furlong G2 contest.
Entries are also revealed for the £150,000 Golden Mile Handicap which takes place on day four of the Qatar Goodwood Festival, Friday, August 3.
The 82 entries include Britannia Handicap second Curiosity (Hugo Palmer), the progressive Tigre du Terre (Richard Hannon), the resurgent Escobar (David O'Meara) and Her Majesty The Queen's Seniority (William Haggas), who was eighth when favourite for the Royal Hunt Cup.
The £250,000 Stewards' Cup over six furlongs is one of the highlights of the Qatar Goodwood Festival and run on the final day of the meeting, Saturday, August 4. A stellar 130 entries (127 in 2017 and 115 in 2016) have been unveiled for the famous handicap.
Recent Wokingham winner Bacchus (Brian Meehan) and second Dreamfield (John Gosden) feature as do G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes fifth Projection, G1 Commonwealth Cup third Emblazoned, evergreen 11-year-old Hoof It (Michael Easterby), successful in the Stewards' Cup way back in 2011, and the unexposed Lansky (Robert Cowell).
Weights for the Golden Mile and the Stewards' Cup will be revealed on Wednesday, July 4.
About the Qatar Goodwood Festival
With five days of thrilling action set against the magnificent backdrop of the rolling Sussex Downs countryside, the Qatar Goodwood Festival - popularly known as 'Glorious Goodwood' - is one of the highlights of the Flat racing season.
With its position as one of the largest race meetings in the world, the Qatar Goodwood Festival is a spectacle that has to be experienced.
Elegant fashion combined with some of the greatest races in the world create a festival week like no other.
The 2018 Qatar Goodwood Festival runs from Tuesday, July 31 through to Saturday, August 4, inclusive. For tickets and hospitality, please visit Goodwood.com