Zarkandar back in front as Nicholls dominates Rendlesham

Sat 18 Feb 2017

Zarkandar won his first race for over two years when leading home a Paul Nicholls-trained one-two in the Betfred Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock.

A multiple Grade One winner, the 9-4 winner is now 10 and was looking to bounce back after being well beaten at Cheltenham last time out.

In receipt of weight from Agrapart, he showed all his old enthusiasm in cruising to the front and beating stablemate Aux Ptits Soins by three and three-quarter lengths under Harry Cobden.

Nicholls was at Ascot, where he said: "He would have won first time up at Aintree (unseated rider), then I probably ran him a bit quick. We've just recauterized his palate since he last ran, not that that made much difference. It was the right race today at the weights.

"It was on a flatish track and he was fresh and has ended up winning really nicely.

"He is in the Stayers' Hurdle (at Cheltenham), but if I had my way I'd probably leave him and go to Aintree. He has never got the trip at Cheltenham, whereas at Aintree he loves the flat track and we could just keep him for that."

Cobden said: "It's great to get another win out of him as he's 10 now. Hopefully it will give him a nice confidence boost.

"He had to win today getting the weight, really."

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