Lennox Stakes Betting

In late July or early August each year, the five-day Glorious Goodwood Festival takes place, about six weeks after the Royal Ascot meeting. Attracting some the top sprinters of the season on Day One is the £155,000 Lennox Stakes, a seven-furlong dash for Thoroughbreds aged three years old and upwards. Opening day has also been designated as “Sporting Greats Day,” featuring a variety of Olympians and other sporting heroes gather in celebration of British sporting excellence.

Inaugurated at the turn of the millennium, this Group 2 event is run on the right-handed turf of the Goodwood Racecourse before a crowd of up to 100,000 race-goers. The three-year-olds carry eight stone nine pounds, while entrants aged four years and older must bear nine-stone-two.

There is a three-pound allowance for fillies and mares, and a penalty of four pounds is applied for winners of Group 2 races held since 1 November of the previous year. Races won as two-year-olds, however, are exempt from the penalty.

In 2000, the Beeswing Stakes was discontinued at Newcastle and the Lennox Stakes took its place. It was named after the Duke of Lennox, a dukedom held by the Duke of Richmond, who was also the owner of Goodwood Racecourse. For its first three years, this race was sponsored by Theo Fennell and classified as a Group 3 event.

In 2003, the status was upgraded to the Group 2 level. When the current sponsor betfair came on board as its primary backer in 2004, the race’s name was changed to the betfair Cup. However, the officially registered title remains the Lennox Stakes to this day.

Only one horse has claimed victory in the Lennox Stakes on two occasions. That honour went to Nayyir, winning back-to-back in 2002-03 for trainer Gerald Butler. Jockey Eddie Ahern was in the saddle on both occasions.

Since then, one other rider has managed a pair of wins here. Kerrin McEvoy succeeded aboard Byron in 2004 before coming back for a repeat performance on Tariq in 2007. Saeed bin Suroor trained the former mount as well as the 2006 winner Iffraaj. The only other trainer with two wins is Marcus Tregoning, bringing Fath here for a victory in 2001 and then Finjaan in 2009.

In 2010, trainer Henry Cecil stirred the pot with an American upstart from Mogeely Stud and Mark T. Gittins called Lord Shanakill. The Yankee sprinter carried jockey Tom Queally to a 13/2 win over the 7/2 favourite from France, Dalghar, who finished up in third-place. With 33/1 Cat Junior from the United States fitting neatly in between the two for runner-up honours, this latest edition of the Lennox Stakes was a clean sweep for imported speed.

During the first eleven runnings, five three-year-olds have prevailed in the Lennox Stakes. Four- and five-year-olds split the remaining six races at three apiece. Iffraaj was the last favourite to win here, paying 6/4, and Byron was the last double-digit victor, yielding 16-1. Typically there will be no more than ten starters in the race, although 2010 drew an even dozen, 2007 attracted thirteen and 2005 had fourteen.

Admission to the Lennox Enclosure on race day cost £15. Those attending the event are advised to dress in smart casual attire, and linen suits and Panama hats are traditionally worn by gentlemen. In the members-only Richmond Enclosure, jackets and either ties, cravats or polo neck sweaters are required—no jeans or shorts. As glorious as the day at Goodwood may be, bare tops and fancy dress are not allowed in any of the enclosures.

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