Jockey Doyle steers Godolphin winner Toormore in Qatar

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Jockey Doyle steers Godolphin winner Toormore in Qatar
James Doyle on Toormore (second right) on the way to winning the Qatar Lennox Stakes.

Abu Dhabi - Toormore clinched the Qatar Lennox Stakes Group 2, while Elhaame finished third in the same race.

By James Jose/Senior Reporter

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Published: Wed 29 Jul 2015, 11:56 PM

Godolphin Racing had a good outing on the first day of the Glorious Goodwood Festival with a victory and two-placed finishes at Sussex Downs on Tuesday.
Toormore clinched the Qatar Lennox Stakes Group 2, while Elhaame finished third in the same race. Elhaame claimed second place in the Sky Bet First Race Special Stakes.
Toormore, running for the first time under the famous royal blue silks of Godolphin after being purchased from Middleham Park Racing, ran a superb race under jockey James Doyle, to win the seven-furlong contest by three-quarter lengths over Prix Jean Prat runner-up Dutch Connection.
Trained by Richard Hannon, the four-year-old Toormore, the sire of Arakan from Danetime Out, began well. He was challenged for the lead in the last two furlongs by Code Red, trained by William Muir and ridden by Martin Dwyer.
Dutch Connection too kept up the pressure but Toormore managed to stave off the challenge in fine style.
Doyle was pleased with Toormore's first run for Godolphin. "It was his first run for us (Godolphin) and he's a solid horse. He's shown that again today," Doyle said of Toormore, who had placed efforts in the Lockinge Stakes and Queen Anne Stakes this season.
 "Seven furlongs is definitely the minimum for him and I just let him use his stride and he relaxed in front. He ground it out nicely and it's nice for him to get his head in front. He's battle-hardened, they were all coming at him, but he kept pulling a bit out," added Doyle.
Hannon too was effusive in his praise. "He did it the hard way. He was in front, they came to him one by one, and he proved his class," said Hannon.
"I think he wants a mile now. It's just lovely to see him win a race as he'd been second in so many nice races and run so many good ones. He could easily have chucked it in and thought 'I've done my bit now.' 
"He was champion two-year-old and he needed that and we needed to see that so we could go up to the next level. He's chosen the right day to do it, with a lot of prize-money on offer.
"He's always been a very pleasing horse to have at home, he's a lovely-moving horse with a lovely attitude and a pleasure to have around. Those horses are hard to find, so it's great he's got his head in front and now that he's done that and got his confidence, he might go for the Prix Jacques le Marois," added the trainer.
It was Toormore's fifth win in 12 starts overall. His previous win came at the Craven Stakes in Newmarket last April.
Godolphin's Safety Check, with Dubai World Cup-winning jockey William Buick, missed out on second place by a head against Dutch Connection. It was his first start since winning the Zabeel Mile at Meydan in late February.
"As long as he comes out of this well, there's no reason he won't take a big step forward. He'll go for the Hungerford next, as he'll only have a 2lb penalty in that, so he should be competitive," said trainer Charlie Appleby.
Earlier in the day, Doyle rode Elhaame to second place in the Sky Bet First Race Special Stakes. Elhaame, trained by Saeed bin Suroor, finished 1 1/4 lengths behind winner Mount Logan in the mile and a quarter handicap.
Godolphin's Gold Trail, trained by Appleby and the ride of Buick, finished sixth in the same race.

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