Horse Racing | Press Article 17/04/24

Breton Rock came fast and very late to mow down his rivals and land the G2 Qatar Lennox Stakes at 50/1 for trainer David Simcock and owner John Cook.


Jockey Andrea Atzeni, completing a 139/1 double initiated in the previous race on Expert Eye, overcame an outside draw by sitting in behind his rivals and then asking Breton Rock to accelerate wide in the final furlong. The response was electric as the horse went from first to last, finishing with such power that he won by half a length and a short-head from Home Of The Brave (4/1) and Suedois (25/1).


The winning trainer said: "He's won two Group Twos previously, but God, did we expect that? No we didn't!


"Last year he won the Criterion Stakes and Park Stakes, so he's very useful, but we've looked after him and never run him on ground with the word 'firm' in the going description. He's a favourite at home and the lad who looks after him, Irkin, absolutely worships him. He had a little daughter the other day and he will come back in with the biggest smile on his face.


"It's brilliant for John Cook, who was my very first owner 13 years ago. He buys a yearling every year, and he bought Breton Rock for £20,000 and has gained so much fun from the horse. This horse has given John, and the yard, so much pleasure, and has taken us to some wonderful meetings over the years. He doesn't let us down."


Cook, who lives in Wellingborough, and visits Simcock's Newmarket yard once a month to see his horses, said: "He races when he wants to. That was so exciting - I was watching the finish thinking he's coming, he's coming - then YES!


"When you own a horse that cost £20,000, and you take on the big boys and win it's some achievement.


"I've owned this one since he was a yearling - I picked him out in the Doncaster sales catalogue, but expected him to make £60,000. Then Jenny [Simcock's wife] rang me and said David and [bloodstock agent Richard Brown] had bought him for £20,000 and I said 'He's mine'. It's a fairytale. My grandson is called Brett, and he lives in Brittany, so is a Breton, and the horse is out of a Rock Of Gibraltar mare, hence the name.


"My latest two-year-old is called Imperial Court by Zoffany. I don't think he will run this year, but the trainer might tell you differently."




Jockey Andrea Atzeni has got his Glorious Goodwood week off to a great start - after victory in race two, the Group Two Qatar Vintage Stakes on the 7/4 favourite Expert Eye, he quickly doubled up in race three, the Group Two Qatar Lennox Stakes aboard Breton Rock, a 50/1 shot.


After the race, Atzeni said: "That was great. I did not expect it at all - none of us did really. David [Simcock] told me to take my time and try and pick up the pieces; I came back in and said 'we picked them all up!'


"But it's really good, coming into the race with the likes of Home Of The Brave and Limato running, they are good horses and we had a bad draw, and I didn't think the ground was soft enough for him," said Atzeni.


"I dropped him out, I thought they went quick early on like they usually do because everyone is trying to get a position.


"Then they steadied it up at the top of the hill, but here they can get racing a long way out and that is what they did today. The pace picked up at the three pole and that suited me nicely.  When I pulled him out, I thought then I am going to win the race because he picked up so well.


"David was very keen for me to get one clear run on the outside - I wish I'd done that in the first race - but it worked out good here."


Atzeni has now ridden Breton Rock five times, winning twice on him, added: "He is a gentleman of a horse, I am very lucky to be part of him. I won on him at Doncaster last year and he ran well when third in the Lockinge. 


"He's an older horse, but he's great for the owners and he keeps picking up prize money - on his day he's not a bad horse at all. It is great for David and the owners because they are lovely people and very supportive."




Hugo Palmer, trainer of Home Of The Brave, who was sent off a 4/1 chance for the G2 Qatar Lennox Stakes, was very happy with the brave showing his charge made, coming home a half length second to 50/1 chance Breton Rock.


"It was a great race from Home Of The Brave" Palmer said. ""James [Doyle, jockey] was incredulous coming in, Home Of The Brave had fought back against Limato (3/1 favourite) and beaten him off, and then still lost the race.


"Credit it to the winner, he has had to come past them all with a furlong to go.


"We know Breton Rock is at his best when he can get his toe in the ground and that tells you the truth about the ground today. It is nice good ground but they are getting their toe in.


"There is no excuse for my horse. He won his race.


"The plan was always three runs in England and then we would look overseas. He has done nothing there today to suggest that it should change.


"I think he would be very competitive in a Breeders Cup Mile (G1, Del Mar, November 4) or something similar. He likes time between his races. The obvious thing is to give him a nice break and take him to California.


James Doyle, jockey of Starspangledbanner entire, added: "I couldn't fault him. He won his race with Limato, but Breton Rock has come down the middle of the track and done us all.''


3.00pm Qatar Lennox Stakes 7f

1 Breton Rock (John Cook) David Simcock 7-9-03 Andrea Atzeni 50/1

2 Home Of The Brave (Godolphin) Hugo Palmer 5-9-03 James Doyle 4/1

3 Suedois (George Turner & Clipper Logistics) David O'Meara 6-9-03 Daniel Tudhope 25/1


3/1 Fav Limato (4th)

Time: 1m 26.62s

Distances: ½, sh

Breeder: George Kent

Breeding: Bahamian Bounty - Anna's Rock (IRE) (Rock Of Gibraltar (IRE))

Tote  Win: £51.60 Places: £12.10, £1.80, £5.70 Exacta: £480.60


David Simcock -23 Goodwood winners (3 at Qatar Goodwood Festival)

Andrea Atzeni - 22 Goodwood winners (8 at Qatar Goodwood Festival)