G1 winners Limato and Alice Springs headline 46 entries for the £300,000 Group Two Qatar Lennox Stakes, run over seven furlongs on the opening day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival, Tuesday, August 1.
Limato stormed to victory in last season’s G1 Darley July Cup at Newmarket before going on to another impressive win for trainer Henry Candy in the G1 Qatar Prix de la Foret at Chantilly, France, in October.
Alice Springs also scored at G1 level at Newmarket’s July meeting in 2016, annexing the mile Falmouth Stakes, and the four-year-old filly returned to the Suffolk course in October to take the G1 Sun Chariot Stakes on the Rowley Mile course.
Her trainer Aidan O’Brien is responsible for eight contenders, with G1 St James’s Palace Stakes runner-up Lancaster Bomber and Spirit Of Valor, second in the G3 Jersey Stakes, also entered.
In another huge boost to the Qatar Goodwood Festival’s burgeoning international profile, three-year-old Bound For Nowhere, fourth in the six-furlong G1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot last week, could be a first Goodwood runner for US trainer Wesley Ward, who is likely to enter several of his Ascot runners across the week.
Godolphin has taken the last two renewals of the Qatar Lennox Stakes with Toormore(2015), now in the care of Charlie Appleby having formerly been with Richard Hannon, and the Charlie Hills-trained Dutch Connection (2016). Both horses could bid to become only the second dual winner of the race after Nayyir, successful in 2002 and 2003,
A total nine Godolphin contenders also includes last year’s runner-up Home Of The Brave(Hugo Palmer), plus the John Gosden-trained pair of Richard Pankhurst and Laugh Aloud, who was a non-runner at Royal Ascot after an impressive win in the G3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom Downs on June 3.
Al Jazi (Francois Rohaut FR) has winning form at Goodwood’s premier meeting already. The four-year-old Canford Cliffs filly, owned by Al Shaqab Racing, landed the seven-furlong G3 L’Ormarins Queens Plate Stakes at the Qatar Goodwood Festival in 2016.
She has made two appearances so far in 2017, winning on her return in a Listed contest at Maisons-Laffitte in April before finishing ninth, beaten five lengths, in the G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes over six furlongs at Royal Ascot on June 24.
Rohaut commented: “The plan is to bring Al Jazi back to Goodwood for the Qatar Goodwood Festival. She won well there last year, so we have entered her in the Qatar Lennox Stakes and will also enter her again in the L’Ormarins Queens Plate Stakes.
“She ran well at Royal Ascot. The trip was a bit sharp for her and she will enjoy stepping back up to seven furlongs.
“She is programmed to go to Goodwood now. She has come out of Royal Ascot in good form and looks well. I am very happy with her.”
Tasleet (William Haggas) and Librisa Breeze (Dean Ivory) may step up in trip after finishing second and fourth respectively in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.