A drop in class proved to be just what Zonderland needed to return to the winner’s circle. After running very well without winning in three major stakes races, including the 2,000 Guineas (Eng-I) at Newmarket, Zonderland proved decisively best in the one-mile Heron Stakes on May 26th at Sandown racecourse in England.
With Adam Kirby in the saddle, the three-year-old son of Dutch Art tracked the pace set by Cymric, a Godolphin colt that ran eighth in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. I) at Keeneland. Cymric appeared to be well within himself and moving nicely, but as the field entered the final quarter-mile, Zonderland moved up to take command and finished strongly to win by 2 1/4 lengths over the late-running Atlantic Sun, with favored Forge finishing another half-length back in third after rearing at the start of the race. The final time was 1:42.53 seconds.
Trained by Clive Cox and owned by Cheveley Park Stud, Zonderland could make his next start in the St. James’s Palace Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot, in which he would have a rematch with 2,000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold.
Also on the Sandown card, 2015 Joel Stakes (Eng-III) winner Time Test made a successful 2016 debut in the ten-furlong Brigadier Gerard Stakes (Eng-III), unleashing a determined run under jockey Ryan Moore to rally from last and win by a neck over Western Hymn, winner of the 2015 Brigadier Gerard and third behind Golden Horn and The Grey Gatsby in the 2015 Coral-Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I). Time Test appeared to be in trouble after encountering traffic during the race, but the Roger Charlton-trained runner was game as could be in the homestretch to get up and win in the time of 2:06.18. Jockey Ryan Moore was in the saddle.
Time Test’s performance, which came while carrying 131 pounds, has made him the co-second choice with 2015 Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. I) winner Found for the prestigious Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot.
WATCH: Time Test grinds down last year’s winner Western Hymn despite his 5lbs penalty to win the Brigadier Gerard. https://t.co/Nx17QsVar5
— Racing UK (@Racing_UK) May 26, 2016
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