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Zminiature claims big Brocklesby win for Cunha

Traditionally the curtain-raiser for the Flat season, this time the juvenile contest – won 12 months ago by Persian Force, who went on to prove very smart – was the second race on the Town Moor card.

A Group One-winning handler in his native South Africa, Cunha is now based in Newmarket, and in this 16-1 winner he looks to have a nice colt on his hands.

Given a patient ride by Rhys Clutterbuck, the Territories youngster moved smoothly through runners to pick up long-timer leader Paddy’s Courage inside the final furlong, before keeping on nicely to hold Bob The Bandit and Indication Ember by a length and a short head.

Cunha said: “It was expected. We really fancied him. He’s small but he’s tough and does everything right. It’s nice to get a good early two-year-old winner.

“I said to the owners halfway through the race ‘it’s been a great experience, he’s learning to race’, as it looked like he was going to be fourth or fifth.

“We took him to Chelmsford for a gallop last Monday, we did all the work that needed to be done.

“I’ve got to thank the Sarkar family, they were the first owners in the UK to support me, so to pay them back with a Brocklesby winner is massive.

“His name is Zminiature because he’s tiny, he’s only up to my chest!

“We started with three horses 18 months ago but we’re up to 50 now, 25 of those are two-year-olds. It’s been hard work, 18-hour days, but I’ve got to thank the team at home, I just conduct it all.

“There’s a conditions race at Chester and a Listed race at Sandown, then after that we’ll take stock.

“I’m pleased for Rhys, I don’t think he gets the opportunities he deserves but he’s quite softly spoken and in this game you’ve got to make a bit of noise and talk yourself into jobs, but it meant I was able to get him. He’s a great jockey, I love him.”

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