Appleby eyes Cup with Danzeno
Mick Appleby expects Danzeno to make his presence felt on his step back up in trip in the Qatar Stewards' Cup at Goodwood.
The six-year-old gelding gained his first win since landing a conditions race at Musselburgh in September 2015 when defying top weight over the minimum trip at Ascot on Saturday.
Plans are now in place to return the Group Three-winning sprinter to six furlongs for the heritage handicap on August 5, for which he is as short as 10-1.
Appleby said: "He ran very well in the Wokingham and I started thinking we would go straight for the Stewards' Cup, but I saw this race and said to the owner it would be a good race to go for.
"He was carrying a big weight on Saturday, but that was never a concern as he is a big horse. Once he hit the front it was never in doubt. It all panned out well.
"He was a Group horse running in a handicap off a good mark. It was good to get his head back in front and hopefully that will put him right for the Stewards' Cup.
The Oakham handler intends to give Big Country a break before bringing him back for a shot at the Betfred Cambridgeshire later in the season.
After finishing a respectable fifth from a bad draw in the Old Newton Cup at Haydock on his penultimate start, the son of High Chaparral found only Ballet Concerto too strong at York in the John Smith's Cup.
Appleby said: "He ran a blinder at York. They didn't go quite quick enough for him and he didn't have the clearest of runs, but he ran on well at the end. The jockey (Raymond Dawson) didn't panic and he kept a cool head on him.
"We will give him a little bit of a break now to freshen him up, then aim him at the Cambridgeshire.
"It is a shorter trip, but they always run it at a good pace. There is no reason why he couldn't make his pace if he needed to.
"At least he is showing us that he is the good horse we thought he was."
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