Zarkandar in Ces Reckoning
Last Updated: 21/08/14 2:53pm
Paul Nicholls: Trains Zarkandar.
Paul Nicholls could run Grade One-winning hurdler Zarkandar back on the Flat in the Betfred Cesarewitch at Newmarket on October 11.
The talented seven-year-old gelding is one of 105 entries for the £250,000 heritage handicap over two and a quarter miles.
Zarkandar is back in full training, having most recently finished third in the French Champion Hurdle in June, though his participation in the Cesarewitch is not a given.
Nicholls said: "When I saw that a quarter of million pounds was on offer it made me think about the Cesarewitch and it could be a nice race to go for with Zarkandar.
"He might be the ideal type of horse for it. He is not a definite runner. We will have to crack on with him to get him ready in time.
"He won't be going there for a day out - we will make sure that he is really ready. His Flat handicap mark of 88 could be OK.
"I was pleased with Zarkandar's last run, when he finished third in the French Champion Hurdle.
"He actually stayed on really strongly and showed that he gets beyond three miles.
"He was then out in the field for a month or five weeks. But he is not one that does well out at grass, so he has been partly back in for a while and is back in full training now.
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"He is quite versatile with regards to the ground and two and a quarter miles on the Flat should be fine for him."
Irish champion jumps trainer Willie Mullins has entered Clondaw Warrior and Digeanta, while Tony Martin, who won the race in 2007 with Leg Spinner, has put forward Dark Crusader, Quick Jack and Ted Veale.
Nicky Henderson, who landed the Cesarewitch with Landing Light in 2003 and Caracciola in 2008, has entered Earth Amber and Cardinal Water.
Big Easy could represent the same connections of the 2006 Cesarewitch winner, Detroit City, that of owner Terry Warner and trainer Philip Hobbs.
Zarkandar is sharing co-favouritism with Pallasator, the gambled-on market leader for Saturday's Betfred Ebor Handicap at York, and Quick Jack.