Strong Suit trumps rivals for Hughes and Hannon

IT WOULD be a lot to ask for Richards Hannon and Hughes to replicate their nine winners apiece from the Glorious Goodwood of 2010, but Strong Suit helped the all-conquering team make the perfect start to this year's meeting with an effortless win in the bet365 Lennox Stakes yesterday.

A breathing operation was credited with the reason for the chestnut's abrupt return to form in last month's Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, with the performance hardly condemned when he finished a narrow third in a subsequent outing in the Group One Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly.

Although taking on older horses over his favoured trip of seven furlongs, this was essentially a drop down in class for the 5-2 favourite and that conclusion had to be drawn with jockey Hughes barely moving a muscle as he defeated Red Jazz by a length and a half.

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Hannon said: "The first time he ran at Newbury in the Greenham we were very disappointed, but we put the overhead camera on him and you could see his throat closing.

"That was sorted out and we worked him one day at Kempton with (top miler] Canford Cliffs and he worked so well we took our chance at Ascot and he won.

"He only got beaten a head and a nose in a Group One the other day and the Prix de la Foret might be the race for him. Canford Cliffs didn't make him look ordinary - this is a good horse."

Moustache's later success in the Casino At Bet365 EBF 'Assertive' Maiden Stakes made the day even better for Hannon and Hughes, the 6-1 shot beating the newcomer Llanarmon Lad by a nose.

Requinto (6-1) collected the bet365 Molecomb Stakes for Irish trainer David Wachman.

The Tipperary Listed-race winner broke fast close to the stands rail before losing some ground at halfway.

Jockey Wayne Lordan switched to the middle of the track and it proved a wise move, as his mount picked up well to score by a length and a quarter in a good time.

Lordan explained: "There were a few horses in front of me so I just got him out and got him a bit of racing room. He quickened up and went to the line very well."

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The James Bethell-trained Arlequin (20-1) gained compensation for missing his main target as he held on to the Handicap from the fast-finishing 100-30 favourite Modun.

"We wanted to go for the John Smith's at York but we didn't get in, and this was the second choice," admitted Middleham-based Bethell.

"It's possible he'll go back to York now for a handicap on August 17, although I do have him entered at Baden-Baden at the end of the month."

There was a landmark moment for first-season trainer Ed Walker when his first Goodwood runner, Red Gulch (16-1), secured the Poker At bet365 Handicap. "He had been running well but creeping up the handicap, so this is deserved," said Walker. "I'm so grateful for the support of all the owners."

Secret Asset (14-1) won the closing Mobile At bet365 Handicap.