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Toormore can make class tell in Lennox Stakes

Toormore looks a worthy favourite to exploit a drop in class and land the Group 2 Lennox Stakes at Goodwood today (3.05).

The Richard Hannon trained colt was unbeaten in three runs as a juvenile, with his last success coming in the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh where he showed a good turn of score comprehensively by 2 3/4 lengths from Sudirman and Giovanni Boldini.

That win earned Toormore status of champion two-year-old with an official rating of 122, and the son of Arakan looked as good as ever on seasonal reappearance when readily beating The Grey Gatsby by two lengths in the Group 3 Craven Stakes at Newmarket.

Toormore than ran a very good race to finish seventh of 14 to stable companion Night Of Thunder in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, leading the stands side group until the final furliong of the mile contest before fading to be beaten just over four lengths.

The form of that race has worked out extremely well, and Toormore was then far from disgraced last time out in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot over a mile when sixth of seven behind Kingman.

Toormore pulled extremely hard and was unable to get any cover out wide, and not surprisingly faded late on to be beaten six lengths after those early exertions took their toll.

The drop back to 7f today, over which Toormore is unbeaten in two starts, looks a shrewd move and another plus is that he has course and distance winning form to his name.

Toormore will also appreciate the drop down into Group 2 company, and with Richard Hughes in the saddle, this looks a good opportunity form him to get back to winning ways.

Gregorian and last year’s winner Garswood look the only possible dangers to Toormore.

The former is trained by John Gosden and finished a length in front of Garswood when winning a Group 3 contest over 7f at Newmarket last month.

The five-year-old then ran a stormer to finish a running-on third to Slade Power in the Group 1 July Cup over 6f at headquarters, and looks a major player now stepped back up to a trip over which he has been successful four times.
Garswood is a quirky sort, but talented when on a going day as he showed when landing this contest 12 months ago.

The four-year-old went on to finish a fine third to superstar mare Moonlight Cloud in the Group 1 Prix De La Foret at Longchamp on his final start of 2013, and after two below par efforts to kick-off the season bounced back to form when chasing home Gregorian last time out.

With the visor now fitted for the first time, and Ryan Moore in the saddle, Garswood looks capable of making a bold bid to defend his crown if building on that effort.