Zelzal Gets Goodwood Go Ahead

The G1 Qatar Sussex S. at Goodwood Aug. 2 is shaping up into a thrilling contest with the likes of Ribchester (Ire) (Iffraaaj {Ire}) and Churchill (Ire) (Galileo Ire}) on target for the race. Further interest in the 1,000,000 race will be provided by the inclusion of the Jean-Claude Rouget trained Zelzal (Fr) (Sea The Stars {Ire}). The 4-year-old, owned by Al Shaqab Racing, won the G1 Prix Jean Prat this time last year and made a pleasing reappearance when second in the G3 Prix Bertrand du Breuil Longines at Chantilly last month. He is reported to be in great form and I think it’s always been Jean-Claude Rouget’s intention to run him in the Sussex Stakes, said the owners’ racing manager Harry Herbert. We were very pleased with him [at Chantilly] as he had been off for a long time and that would have sharpened him up. Some people might have expected him to sluice up first time out, but Jean-Claude was adamant it was a nice reintroduction. Obviously he has got to come on a fair bit again, but he is held in high regard by Jean-Claude and it will be exciting to see him in a race like the Sussex Stakes, Herbert added. Rouget had a well documented virus in his stable early in the spring which stalled the training programme for much of the string but fortunately had little adverse affect on the lightly raced Zelzal who only began his racing career as a 3-year-old. The reason he was so slow to come out was because of the virus that went through Jean-Claude’s yard. Thankfully he was one of the first to get it and it didn’t affect him. It is a relief that he is fine and well, he is a very good horse and it will be fantastic to see him at Goodwood against those that have led the way so far this campaign, said Herbert.

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