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Toormore tackles the Lennox Stakes
28 Jul 2014 15:03
Toormore is reported to be "back to his best" as he aims to bounce back to form in the bet365 Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on Tuesday.
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Richard Hannon's colt ended an unbeaten juvenile season as champion two-year-old after clinching Group One glory in the National Stakes at the Curragh and he looked every inch a Classic contender when making a winning return in Newmarket's Craven Stakes in mid-April.
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However, he could finish only seventh in the 2000 Guineas and was similarly disappointing when sixth in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
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Toormore has his sights lowered for Tuesday's seven-furlong Group Two and Tim Palin, racing manager for owners Middleham Park Racing, has been told to expect a big improvement on the Sussex Downs.
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Palin said: "The reports are he's back to his best. He's moved from Everleigh to Herridge and the words of Richard Hannon snr last were 'you'll see a different Toormore at Glorious Goodwood'. He looks a million dollars.
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"He obviously won the Craven and we don't really know what happened for the next three months. Nothing really came to light, but he lost weight, he was dull in his coat and wasn't working as well as he can.
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"We ran him in the Guineas and then the vibes weren't great going into Royal Ascot, but there is only one St James's Palace and we gave it a go. Maybe we shouldn't have run him.
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"He doesn't carry his Group One penalty tomorrow as it's past the cut-off point now and he's a course and distance winner having won the Vintage Stakes last year, so he's going back to the scene of the crime.
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"He won his Group One over seven furlongs and you could argue he might be even better over that trip than he is at a mile.
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"The Hannon horses are always in peak condition at this time of year, he's drawn OK and I like the 7lb weight-for-age allowance. There really aren't any negatives.
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"The Hannons used this race as a confidence booster for Strong Suit a few years ago and it was a similar story with Garswood of Richard Fahey's last year. We're hoping that Toormore will be the latest one to get his confidence boosted.
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"We'd like to think if he wins we'll be looking at Group Ones again, races like the Prix du Moulin and the Prix de la Foret.
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"If he doesn't win and maybe finishes a close second, we might look for another Group Two, something like the Celebration Mile.
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"What we don't want to see is a bland, never-threatening fourth.
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"Hughesie (Richard Hughes) knows the place like the back of his hand and put him up as one of his best bets of the week recently.
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"I hope he's right."
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Toormore is the spearhead of a three-pronged assault on the race by the Hannon team, with Professor and Anjaal also among a 10-strong field.
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The trainer told his official website: "Anjaal has found it difficult with his penalty this season, but he ran OK in the Jersey and Sheikh Hamdan (Al Maktoum, owner) is in such terrific form so who knows.
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"Professor was only beaten three lengths in this race last year, having been locked up on the far rails all the way up the straight.
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"He won well at Haydock last time and he will be even better on this drier ground."
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Defending champion Garswood has failed to get his head in front since his victory 12 months ago, but ran his best race of the season so far when narrowly held by the reopposing Gregorian in last month's Criterion Stakes at Newmarket.
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Garswood wore blinkers on his most recent appearance, but Fahey has decided to fit him with a visor tomorrow.
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"We're happy with him and he's in good form," said Fahey.
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"He ran well at Newmarket and I just don't think he saw the winner coming with the blinkers on. Hopefully he will with the visor.
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"It would be nice to see him bounce back with a win, but we'll see how we go.
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"I'm sure the ground will be fine. They usually do a great job with the ground at Goodwood.
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"If it's firm we won't run, but I'd be surprised if it was."
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Es Que Love was only narrowly beaten into third in Newbury's Hackwood Stakes a week and a half ago and steps up to seven furlongs for the first time since joining trainer Clive Cox at the start of the season.
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Cox said: "He ran a blinder in the Hackwood and is versatile over six or seven furlongs.
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"I'm delighted with him at home. He seems in great form and hopefully he'll run well.
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"He's Group Two and Group Three placed already this year and I think he probably prefers drier ground to wetter ground, so I'm hoping they don't get too much rain."
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Peter Schiergen's German raider Amarillo and course favourite Boom And Bust also feature in a competitive field.
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