Watch what Angus McNae made of Harry Angel's performance at Haydock on Saturday and read about the latest plans for him.
The son of Dark Angel made his first appearance since sustaining a leg injury in the starting stalls ahead of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot when defending his crown in the Sprint Cup at Haydock on Saturday.
After a smart start the four-year-old was soon dictating affairs in front, but faded into sixth place in a six-furlong contest run in heavy ground.
Plans remain fluid for Cox’s stable star, but a return to Ascot – where he is yet to taste victory after five previous starts – is under consideration. BetVictor make him 8-1 in a market headed by The Tin Man at a general 4-1.
“He is fine this morning and he has come out of the race well. He was just a little bit fresh early on,” said the Lambourn handler.
“The ground was heavy, but in comparison to last year, the Sprint Cup was the fifth race run on it compared to the third.
“It just made it a little bit more difficult but it was the same for all of them. It just appeared to rain at Haydock more than anywhere else.
“He clearly found the last half-furlong a long way, but I’m delighted with how he has come out of the race.
“The Champions Sprint (October 20) would be attractive if we get a drier time in the run-up to it. That is the most logical target.
“First and foremost I am very pleased with how he has come out of the race and fair play to James Fanshawe and The Tin Man.”
Meanwhile, Cox has earmarked the Shadwell Joel Stakes at Newmarket on September 28 as potential port of call for Zonderland.
The Group Two prize could be on the agenda for the five-year-old after he was forced to bypass an outing in the Superior Mile at Haydock on Saturday due to heavy ground.
Cox said: “It was just out of our hands with the ground. Hopefully we can take the right step with him.
“He is in the Joel Stakes and that is a possible target, ground permitting. He has run well on his last two starts and he really does try his heart out.”