Thursday’s impressive Listed Heron Stakes winner Zonderland is likely to make his next appearance in the G1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The 2000 Guineas sixth place finisher impressed when storming home to victory in Thursday’s Listed Heron Stakes at Sandown and Zonderland looks a group winner in the making.
Trained by Clive Cox, the Dutch Art colt looked a likely winner as soon as his rider gave him the signal to push on in Thursday’s feature. Favourite Forge tried to mount a challenge on the outside but Zonderland was far too good as he triumphed by two and a quarter lengths, with Atlantic Sun pipping Forge for second.
The winning trainer was delighted with his colt’s success, saying after the Heron Stakes, “He showed what he’s been showing us at home and that was perfect. I’m really pleased with him and hopefully he will go on from here. “This was a great confidence-boosting run after a pleasing run in the Guineas, hopefully he will take another step back up in class.He just didn’t come down the dip at Newmarket. Funnily enough, he did last autumn but he was a little bit lighter then and he’s a big, heavy horse now. I will talk to Chris (Richardson of owners Cheveley Park Stud), but I would imagine it will be the St James’s Palace after that – I don’t see any reason why not .”
Zonderland, who has now won two of only five racecourse outings, is very closely related to Highlands Farm’s Al Quoz Sprint winning sire Great Britain.
The 2016 Heron Stakes winner, whose granddam is 1000 Guineas winner and champion Russian Rhythm, is a descendant of the great mare Balidaress –the second dam of Great Britain and his outstanding full brother Cape Cross.
Russian Rhythm is also second dam of 2016 G3 Fred Darling Stakes winner Marenko.