Zonderland wins, Massaat flops

Zonderland (4/1) provided Clive Cox with back to back wins in the totepool Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury as Massaat was all but pulled up.

Zonderland eases to success at Salisbury

The latter was sent off the 4/5 favourite on his first start since finishing ninth in the Derby having taken second in the 2000 Guineas prior to that.

Paul Hanagan was allowed an easy lead in the Group Three contest but was soon sending out distress signals when he asked the Teofilo colt to go and win his race.

Zonderland, sixth in the Guineas, had travelled kindly in his slipstream throughout and eased to the front under Oisin Murhpy and, despite a slight jink to his left in the closing stages, won with something to spare.

Master The World continued his good run of form to finish a length and a quarter adrift in second.

Murphy said: "He's Adam Kirby's ride and along with Clive he told me how to ride him.

"He's clearly the best horse in the race and there's more to come. He's definitely up to Group Two level."

Cox, successful with Kodi Bear 12 months ago, has always thought highly of the Cheveley Park Stud-owned colt, who could now head to Goodwood for the Celebration Mile before a possible tilt at the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Champions Day for which he is a 25/1 chance with Sky Bet.

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After a confidence-boosting win at Sandown, he returned to the top level in the Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly and while he cut no ice behind Zelzal, Cox felt he had valid excuses for that disappointing run.

Cox said: "I think after last time this confirmed the promise of his Listed win at Sandown. It was a step up here but it was almost a confidence-booster after his run in France.

"He relished the quick ground and mentally and physically he's improving all the time.

"I'm delighted to win today and I'm proud to have him on my hands.

"Oisin was very much of the opinion that he got there a bit too soon but he is blessed with a lot of ability.

"He's better on a track like this where he's able to use himself properly.

"He was not an unlucky loser in the Guineas, he just didn't handle the dip.

"He has an entry in the Celebration Mile and that's a possibility but we'll see how he is first and discuss it with connections, though it would be nice to follow up a win in this race with the one we won with Kodi Bear."

Hanagan said of Massaat: "Maybe the ground was too quick but it was too bad to be true and very disappointing. I'd be very surprised if they don't find something with him as he stopped too quick."

Trainer Owen Burrows added: "It's very disappointing and we'll have to go back to see if we can find an issue.

"I'd been happy with him and of my last five runners I'd had four seconds and a winner, they've been pretty consistent all season.

"Paul said possibly the ground could be a reason but we shall see."

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