Lennox Stakes in Cape Byron's sights

Varian ponders Goodwood recovery mission

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Roger Varian is considering Goodwood’s Qatar Lennox Stakes to give Cape Byron a chance to bounce back from his no-show in the July Cup.

The Shamardal gelding beat just one rival home in the Group One prize at Newmarket – which was his first start at the top level, having previously been an impressive winner of Royal Ascot’s Wokingham Handicap.

With nothing coming to light following his defeat, Cape Byron may be stepped back up to seven furlongs for a tilt at the Group Two prize on Tuesday week.

Varian said: “He was fine after the race, although we were a bit disappointed at the time. I watched it back a couple of times, and he didn’t appear very comfortable on the track on that ground with the undulations.

“He won on good-to-soft ground in the Victoria Cup, and it was drying back to good ground when he won the Wokingham, but at Newmarket they were breaking track records all week.

“I think he has the talent to run better than he did, and I don’t think he handled the track. He has run well at Goodwood before, (so) the Lennox might be an option – we will just see how he is.”

The Newmarket trainer has not ruled out stepping stablemate Surfman up to a mile and a half for the first time in the Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes at York.

Third in the Dante at the Knavesmire on his penultimate start, the son of Kingman has not been sighted since finishing down the field in last month’s French Derby.

Varian said: “He could go to the Voltigeur, but it is too far away to know for sure. He is in good form and is training nicely.”

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