TERRITORY MARKS HIS GROUND WITH CORAL WHITSUN CUP SUCCESS

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Rebel Territory will bid to follow in the hoofprints of former stablemate Zhui Feng after starting where he left off when carrying top weight to glory in the Coral Whitsun Cup Handicap. 

After signing off last season with victory at Newmarket the Amanda Perrett-trained four year old will now take aim at next month’s Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot, a race in which the Pulborough handler claimed back in 2017 with Zhui Feng. 

Finding plenty when asked for his maximum by 2016 champion jockey Jim Crowley, the 4-1 chance got the better of a protracted late battle in the mile handicap with Ouzo to score by a neck. 

Mark Perrett, husband and assistant trainer, said: “That was great and just what we needed. He has done it really well. 

“He has only just started filling his frame out as he is a big horse. Last year he was still able to do what he did even being a big weak horse. 

“Personally I was quite optimistic as he has started to settle down a bit at home. He has started to grow up now. 

“He needed a bit of settling down at home but even now it depends what mood he is in as he can be big and strong. 

“Hopefully (the Royal Hunt Cup), will be a nice place for him. The stiff track at Ascot will suit him and the faster they go, the better. Hopefully it is onwards and upwards.”

The switch back to the turf has not halted the progression of Roxzoff, who completed a near 48-1 double for jockey Tom Marquand after securing his fourth win of 2022 in the concluding Play Coral “Racing-Super-Series” For Free Handicap by a length and three quarters. 

Marquand said of the Charlie Hills-trained 12-1 chance: “He is a progressive horse and he has been really reliable in his last few runs and even when he has not won he has put in a big effort. 

“It was a question of just trying to get him in a nice position and from there he travelled well and I was pretty happy with him. 

“I hit the front a bit too soon and that Sandown hill can be quite lonely but he got the job done.

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