Goodwood Festival 2014: Es Que Love’s the winner once again – at 22nd sight - Racing - Sport - The Independent

Goodwood Festival 2014: Es Que Love’s the winner once again – at 22nd sight

The five-year-old won the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood today

goodwood

There are many ways to set up a first Group Two triumph, but until today getting beaten 21 times on the spin was not one of them.

Es Que Love has been a perennial whipping boy over various distances in all sorts of company since winning a minor handicap early last season, but it finally clicked again when he captured the Lennox Stakes, the highlight of Glorious Goodwood’s opening day.

And if that was not surprise enough, the horse he beat was last year’s champion two-year-old Toormore, a second odds-on loser in a row for Richard Hannon following Beacon’s defeat in the Molecomb Stakes to provide a small ripple of concern ahead of Toronado’s eagerly awaited meeting with Kingman in Wednesday’s Sussex Stakes.

The Es Que Love Partnership stumped up 110,000 guineas for the five-year-old last autumn, which was some punt for a horse seemingly going nowhere and with so much mileage on the clock, but they surely could not have dreamt that he would win at this level.

In fact, the winning trainer, Clive Cox, was quite confident going into the race, convinced that more patient tactics than adopted last time at Newbury would pay dividends.

Es Que Love’s jockey Adam Kirby played his hand late and to a nicety to win by a neck, although there was a nasty sting in the tail for the rider when the stewards judged that he had used his whip incorrectly. This was his fifth such transgression in the past six months and he now faces a lengthy ban.

The Toormore camp were understandably downbeat. This was meant to be a confidence booster after below-par efforts in the 2,000 Guineas and at Royal Ascot and, though the three-year-old by no means disgraced himself, Hannon, who offered no excuses, knows he is not the horse he was and will adjust his sights accordingly. “He was a very good two-year-old, but is not as good a three-year-old – that’s all there is to it,” the trainer said.

In terms of official ratings, there is next to nothing between Toronado and Kingman (3.05 Goodwood), but whereas the former has needed to dig deep to achieve his mark, the latter has left the impression there is a bit more in the tank if required.

Jockey Richard Hughes will doubtless have something up his sleeve to try to tip things Toronado’s way, just as he did in last year’s thriller when swooping wide and late to take revenge on Dawn Approach, who had beaten him on two previous encounters.

But it is difficult to think what the twice champion can do to gain an edge this time. With the field reduced to four following the withdrawal of War Command, there could be some tactical fun and games, but whatever the pace Kingman’s turbo-charged finish should settle the issue.

Highland Reel’s extraordinary, 12-length winning performance in Ireland earlier this month prompted bookmakers to install Aidan O’Brien’s colt as favourite for next year’s Derby.

A follow-up in the Vintage Stakes may not be the formality it seems – he was as green as a cabbage at Gowran Park and faces tougher opposition on a drop back to seven furlongs – but Highland Reel (3.40 Goodwood) is perhaps a champion in the making and may well have the class to come through this test.

All eight runners in the Gordon Stakes hold a St Leger entry and the best of them, both here and at Doncaster, might turn out to be Scotland (2.30 Goodwood), third to Eagle Top in the Group Two King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot last time and progressing with every run.

Mark Johnston’s horses invariably make their presence felt at this meeting, especially in the handicaps, but sending out three of the first four in today’s opener, including the winner, Sennockian Star, was quite special. Maid In Rio (1.55 Goodwood), a big jump ahead of the handicapper after dotting up at Ascot last Friday, looks a stable banker in today’s opener.

Paul Hanagan injured his left arm when White Nile fell in the Summer Handicap and will need to pass the doctor before being allowed to ride. To add insult to injury, he missed out on riding Inxile, who won the finale.

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Energy Markets Analyst

£400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...

Junior Web Analyst – West Sussex – Up to £35k DOE

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Nursery Manager

£22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...

Web Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k - London

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week