Guineas second Tip Two Win will be suited by drop in trip says Roger Teal
Qatar Lennox Stakes | Group 2 | 3yo+ | 7f | ITV/RUK
Roger Teal has taken what many will see as the softer option with Qipco 2,000 Guineas second Tip Two Win, but he does not underestimate the opposition in this Group 2.
Tip Two Win finished a length and a half behind Saxon Warrior at Newmarket before being beaten four lengths into fourth by Without Parole in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. Teal, who toyed with a supplementary entry for the Sussex Stakes, said: "We're taking on good, solid older horses including Breton Rock and Dutch Connection, the last two winners of the race, and last year’s Sussex Stakes winner Here Comes When, but I think it’s the right race for him.
"He was pretty keen last time and dropping back to seven furlongs might help him settle, and his form at seven is as good as it is at a mile, perhaps better.
"He's the only three-year-old in the race, but looking back through past winners they have a pretty good record. There have been four in the last decade, and let's hope he's a fifth."
Returning winners chase more success
The last two Lennox winners both return, but while it is unlikely to be quite soft enough for Breton Rock, who was a 50-1 winner from Home Of The Brave 12 months ago, the weekend rain will not have been what Charlie Hills wanted for 2016 hero Dutch Connection, who was withdrawn 12 months ago on account of deteriorating conditions.
Breton Rock's trainer David Simcock said: "It doesn't look as if it's going to be like last year but the old boy is in excellent order. He had a day out at Epsom, which is a track that wouldn't have suited him ideally but was an opportunity to get him out, and I've been very happy with him at home since. He's really come to himself and the race should suit him."
Dutch Connection loves Goodwood and Hills is reasonably optimistic. He said: "He's been below form lately. He ran a blinder when fourth in the Lockinge but his last two races haven't been up to scratch and he's not been running his race at all.
"However, he's done a couple of bits of work and everyone seems happy with him. Goodwood brings the best out of him and his course-and-distance form reads 1211. He'll love the ground if it's fast."
Here Comes When drops in grade
Last year's Sussex Stakes hero Here Comes When spurns the opportunity of a repeat bid in favour of what should be a slightly easier opportunity, but trainer Andrew Balding is well aware the ground won't be anything like as soft as 12 months ago when he beat hotpot Ribchester, and is realistic about his prospects.
He said: "The rain that fell over the weekend will aid his cause but it's probably not going to be soft enough for him to be at his very best. Having said that, he was fourth in a Sussex on quickish ground and he's in great form and still full of enthusiasm. He'll run whatever, as I'm sure this will be the best of the ground."
Balding also saddles Donjuan Triumphant and said: "He probably wants it softer too, but he's been underrated. He's got some very good form and is in great shape."
What others say
Roger Varian, trainer of Emmaus
He's a very good-looking horse with a big engine and, although he's only lightly raced, he's full of promise. The rain on Sunday encouraged us to run and he's got a nice draw. He's got to step up again, but he won well at Leicester, albeit in a not particularly strong race, and it's not beyond the bounds of possibility that he could win a race like this.
David Elsworth, trainer of Sir Dancealot
He's been running consistently well at a very high level and those who fancy him can make a case for him. It looks a race he can figure prominently in and we hope to run well.
David O'Meara, trainer of So Beloved and Suedois
They ran in the race last year when Suedois was third and So Beloved fifth. So Beloved didn't get a great passage through the race that time, but he does like that sort of an environment – being held up with cover. They're in great form and there's not a lot between them. So Beloved is declared again for the Sussex, but it's just in case anything happens with the ground, with thunderstorms around. He was entered, and it just allows us to keep an eye on things.
Aidan O'Brien, trainer of Spirit Of Valor
Stepping up to seven furlongs for the first time this season should suit him once the ground stays good. We're happy with him.
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