Clive Cox targets Goodwood Celebration with Zonderland

Fri 24 Aug 2018

Connections of Zonderland hope he can strike gold at the third time of asking in the Ladbrokes Celebration Mile at Goodwood on Saturday.

Having had to settle for second best behind Lightning Spear, who is absent from this year’s field, in the Group Two prize for the past two seasons, the Clive Cox-trained five-year-old son of Dutch Art will bid to go one better and gain his first win in more than two years.

Chris Richardson, racing manager to owners Cheveley Park Stud, said: “It was nice to see him showing a return to form when finishing third at Salisbury last time.

“He likes quick ground so hopefully it will stay like that. He is in good form and I know that Clive is pleased with him.

“He is the sort of horse that if he is back on track he will hopefully run a nice race. Like all these things, he is an older horse that is getting wiser.

“He was just done on the line last year by Lightning Spear and if he comes back to that level he should be competitive.”

Andrew Balding feels Beat The Bank will take a lot of beating if he leaves his effort over course and distance in the Sussex Stakes behind and returns to the level of form that saw him capture the Summer Mile at Ascot on his penultimate start.

He said: “He is a grand horse and he seems in great form. The race was not run to suit in the Sussex Stakes and things didn’t quite pan out how we wanted them to go.

“He has obviously won over course and distance in the past. Hopefully he will bounce back to his best and take all the beating.”

Roger Varian is optimistic Altyn Orda can make her presence felt if taking to the Sussex track, having found only Alpha Centauri too strong in the Falmouth Stakes.

The Newmarket handler said: “Altyn Orda ran a career-best when finishing runner-up behind an exceptional filly (Alpha Centauri) in the Falmouth and this has been plan since, with the race working nicely from a timing perspective.

“She has only raced away from Newmarket once in her life, so this track is an unknown, but she heads there in excellent form and ought to be in the thick of things in receipt of her allowances.”

Oh This Is Us may have a bit to find on the ratings, but trainer Richard Hannon expects the five-year-old son of Acclamation to hold his own.

He said: “He has got a good each-way chance. He is a solid horse and it doesn’t look the strongest renewal.

“He finished a good second st Group Three level last time. He might just fall a bit short at this level but I’m sure he will run a solid race.

“He doesn’t do much at home as he does all his work on the track. Hopefully he can be placed in the race.”

The field is completed by Stormy Antarctic from the yard of Ed Walker, the David Simcock-trained Arod, Nyaleti who will fly the flag for Mark Johnston and South African Grade One winner Whisky Baron, who will be having his first start for William Haggas.

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