Tuesday: 3.00 Goodwood
Unibet Lennox Stakes (Group 2) | 7f | 3yo+ | ITV/RTV
Everything seems to be falling Charlie Appleby's way at the moment and it looks odds-on this Group 2 will go to Moulton Paddocks with either Space Blues or Creative Force.
William Buick rode both Space Blues and Creative Force on their latest outings, so it seems fair to assume he has had the choice, and it's last year's winner Space Blues who got the nod.
It has been said many times that seven furlongs is a specialist distance and Space Blues is tailor-made for the test. He just falls short at the top level in sprints but doesn’t stay a mile.
The long sprint, as it's sometimes called, is Space Blues's territory and he dominated at the trip last season, even managing to add the Group 1 Maurice de Gheest over six and a half furlongs to a tally of four wins last summer. However, he has had a different preparation this time around.
Last year Space Blues put a poor run at Meydan in March behind him by winning twice in Britain and France in June en route to victory here. This season we haven't seen him since his now customary Meydan flop in March. So will he resume at his peak form?
His recent record fresh is encouraging on that score. He returned from a 92-day break to land the Spring Trophy on his British reappearance last year and shrugged aside a 195-day break to win the Turf Sprint over seven furlongs at Riyadh in February. He is back from 122 days off here.
Creative Force does have the pace for six furlongs. He is a four-time winner over the sprint trip and recorded a career-best Racing Post Rating when fifth in the July Cup last time.
James Doyle takes the ride and the return to seven furlongs will probably need to spark some improvement from the Jersey Stakes winner, who has 5lb to find with Space Blues on RPRs.
Race analysis by Graeme Rodway
Appleby takes aim with market leaders
Space Blues bids to become the third back-to-back winner of the Lennox Stakes with trainer Charlie Appleby also responsible for fellow market principal Creative Force.
Appleby said: "It was always the plan to come straight here after Dubai with Space Blues. His preparation has gone well and he ticks all the boxes.
"He's flopped every time he's run at Meydan and six furlongs seems to catch him out, so you can put a line through his last run. We're excited to get him back on track."
Appleby said of Creative Force: "We're looking forward to stepping him back up to seven furlongs – it's a sharp seven at Goodwood, which will suit him.
"The ground was a bit quick for him at Newmarket but should be more to his liking here. He's very solid, gets the three-year-old allowance and goes there in great shape."
What they say
Alastair Donald, racing manager to King Power Racing, owners of Happy Power and Fivethousandtoone
It's the first time this season that Happy Power has his optimum trip of seven furlongs and cut in the ground and any additional rain would be a help. Andrew [Balding] has always held Fivethousandtoone in high regard and things have not gone right for him in two starts this term. His work has been good and Silvestre [de Sousa] has chosen to ride him.
Rossa Ryan, rider of Kinross
It's great to get the call-up and his work has been pretty good. He doesn't mind cut in the ground, as he showed at Haydock, and I'd like to think he'll be thereabouts.
Kieran Shoemark, rider of Pogo
He's been a great horse for me and he's won over seven furlongs and a mile, so this trip at Goodwood won't be an issue. He ran a massive race in the Queen Anne having hated the soft ground in the Lockinge. He doesn't know how to run a bad race and I'm sure he'll be there or thereabouts.
John Quinn, trainer of Safe Voyage
He's been a great horse for us, got better as he's got older and won well in a good time at Chester. Conditions are in his favour and he ran well in this race last year.
John Gosden, joint-trainer of Fundamental
He's been very consistent, runs on all types of ground and is very honest. He's drawn one so he'll save some ground but sometimes it's difficult to get a run. He deserves to run in a race of this nature.
Reporting by Jack Haynes