Goodwood Festival News

Goodwood support races: Appleby pair dominate Lennox line-up

Mon 26 Jul 2021

Charlie Appleby appears to have a stranglehold on the Unibet Lennox Stakes at Goodwood, with both Space Blues and Creative Force lining up for the Godolphin trainer.

Appleby has enjoyed a dream season, with Adayar and Hurricane Lane dominating the three-year-old middle distance races, but Space Blues and Creative Force will not be hanging about over seven furlongs on Tuesday.

Space Blues won the race 12 months ago, while three-year-old Creative Force had his winning streak brought to an end in the July Cup but lost little in defeat when just two lengths behind Starman.

“He’s a past winner of the Lennox and is part of the furniture at Moulton Paddocks,” Appleby said of Space Blues, who disappointed when last seen in the Al Quoz Sprint.

“He hasn’t been seen since running down the field at Meydan. I think now we can quite safely say Meydan is not his track – especially over the six there.

“But we’ve seen in the past what a seven-furlong specialist he is, including at Goodwood.

“He looks fantastic – and of all our runners at Goodwood, he’d be the one I’d be looking forward to. He might not be a Blue Point, but he’s very solid.”

Of Creative Force, the Newmarket trainer told “We are looking forward to stepping (him) back up to seven furlongs – it’s a sharp seven at Goodwood, which will suit him.

“The ground was a bit quick for him at Newmarket last time, but should be more to his liking here. He is a very solid horse, who is getting a three-year-old allowance, and he goes there in great shape.”

Safe Voyage finished fourth in the race 12 months ago for John Quinn, and put two disappointing early-season runs behind him when winning at Chester last time.

Quinn said: “We were very pleased with him at Chester, and he’s come out of the race well. He likes Goodwood – he ran well in this race last year. It’s a spicy race, as you’d expect, but we’re hopeful of a big run. The rain has come, and cut in the ground is spot on for him.”

As for his two poor runs, Quinn added: “He had a hard time in America at the Breeders’ Cup – it just didn’t work out. The ground was like concrete, and it maybe took him longer to get over it than I first thought.

“In the Lockinge it didn’t work – we got involved in a frenetic early pace, and then he actually ran better than his finishing position at Haydock without quite running up to his best.

“From Haydock we were very happy going into Chester, and it was nice to see him bounce back there.”

Andrew Balding runs Happy Power, who will be ridden by Ryan Moore, with Silvestre de Sousa choosing Fivethousandtoone.

Balding said: “Happy Power will love the ground. He was a bit disappointing last time, so he’s on a retrieval mission, but he’s a course-and-distance winner and takes his racing well.

“Fivethousandtoone wouldn’t want much more rain. If the ground got very soft it would be a problem for him.

“He was disappointing at Haydock last time. He’s a horse with immense potential, but it didn’t pan out for him at Haydock. He’s got a lot of ability and he could go well.”

Last year’s second and third, Duke Of Hazzard and Escobar, are also part of of the 14-strong field.

Berkshire Shadow puts unbeaten record on line

Royal Ascot hero Berkshire Shadow puts his unbeaten record and tall reputation on the line in the Unibet Vintage Stakes at Goodwood.

A narrow winner on his racecourse debut at Newbury in the spring, Andrew Balding’s juvenile successfully stepped up to Group Two level on just his second career start when running out an impressive winner of the Coventry Stakes.

The Dark Angel colt steps up to seven furlongs for his latest assignment on Tuesday, with the rain-softened ground on the Sussex Downs his trainer’s only concern.

Balding said: “The likelihood is he’s going to encounter different ground conditions to what he did at Ascot, which is an unknown, but I’m very happy with the horse – and I think the extra furlong will suit him well.

“It was a very good performance in the Coventry, and likewise first time out he was very impressive.

“He’s obviously a horse with a huge amount of talent. It was always the intention to step up to seven furlongs after Ascot, and I hope if he handles the ground he’ll go very well.”

Berkshire Shadow’s biggest threat appears to be the Richard Hannon-trained Lusail.

The son of Mehmas proved his stamina when winning over seven furlongs at Newmarket in June, before dropping back to six to win the Group Two July Stakes three weeks ago.

Hannon, who also saddles outsider Secret Strength, said: “Obviously Lusail has been over seven before, so that’s a plus for him.

“He’s got a decent draw (stall three), and if he handles the ground he’ll go very close. I hope he’ll handle the ground, but you never know until you try.

“The other horse is no mug. He’s got plenty of ability, and if he goes in the ground he could run a big race.”

The Nick Bradley Racing-owned Eldrickjones has ground to make up on both Berkshire Shadow and Lusail, having filled the runner-up spot in the Coventry and finished fifth in the July Stakes.

“I’d be hopeful we could at least finish a bit closer to Berkshire Shadow, based on the fact I think we were on a less favoured part of the track than the winner at Ascot,” said Bradley.

“I think the step up to seven furlongs will be a help for us, and probably a help for him as well.

“Lusail is probably the one to beat, in my opinion. But with horses like this, there’s only so many races you can go for – and I’ve had this race in mind for some time for our horse.”

Aidan O’Brien’s The Acropolis, the Ralph Beckett-trained Angel Bleu and Austrian Theory from Mark Johnston’s yard complete the line-up.

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