Goodwood: Es Que Love takes Lennox Stakes
Es Que Love caused a turn of for the books on Day 1 of Glorious Goodwood, cruising to victory in the Group 2 Lennox Stakes under a confident ride from Adam Kirby, turning over the odds on favourite Toormore in the process.
The Clive Cox trained 5yo has been the model of consistency throughout his career and can count himself unlucky not to have won many more races for Cox and for Mark Johnston before him. It is over a year since Es Que Love tasted victory in a mile handicap on the all-weather at Kempton, but he seems to have found a new level of performance since joining Cox earlier in the year, running very well in Group company in each of his five starts over both 5 and 6 furlongs.
The step up to 7 furlongs on today’s beautiful ground seemed to bring even more out of the son of Clodovil, as having settled in rear behind a nice gallop being set by the favourite, was still travelling extremely strongly 2 out as push came to shove for his rivals. He eventually joined Toormore on his outside and with the urgings of the calm and collected Kirby, pushed clear to score by a neck.
Kirby said: “We thought we were coming here with a big chance as he would love the track and love the ground. It felt to me that we were going a nice gallop but I was always travelling well and he has gone on and done it really well.
“We learned a lot about him the last time (at Newbury). He didn’t pull up that day and you cant say he is not genuine. We tried to hold him up today and thankfully it worked. He is in real good form and Clive has done a great job with him and he has won well, so there is no complaints.”
Enjoying his 77th victory of a stellar campaign, Kirby added: “The season has been going really well and Clive has been very supportive, as has everyone around me. Things are going very well.”
Cox himself added: “I’m just so pleased. I have a great team at home and Kevin Harris rides him at home everyday. There was no pace in the race at Newbury and Adam took a calculated decision to take it up two (furlongs) out and he just couldn’t last home.
“We came here confident and we had to just ride him patiently and he has done a super job. He has always been a good horse, there is no question about that and it is great to have a horse of that quality in the yard. He works like that at home and we wanted to bottle that and come here today.”
By Kevin Walsh / Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
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