Clive Cox 'very proud' after landing first Victoria Cup at Ascot with River Nymph
LAMBOURN trainer Clive Cox explained how ‘special’ it felt to see River Nymph bounce back to form and win the Victoria Cup at Ascot on Saturday.
The 11-1 shot finished lower in the field on his last two starts, but battled a strong field and won the Class 2 race under Adam Kirby.
The win provided Cox with his first success in this race and he explained his delight at how things went.
“It is a really special race to win and growing up, the Victoria Cup was always an iconic race and we’re very proud to win it.
“We’re delighted for owner Trevor Fox, who is also the breeder of the horse, so it was also very special for him.
“It is great that racing has continued through the whole pandemic and it’s great we can win these sort of races because they are very important.”
The Beechdown handler also admitted that Middle Park winner Supremacy will still hold an entry for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot next month.
The three-year-old was unable to perform well at the Pavilion Stakes at Ascot earlier in the season, but Cox explained why.
“That was a little bit of a nightmare situation really after being so highly-rated at two – he was our highest rated two-year-old – with a rating of 118.
“We did have a very high white cell count on his blood when we came back without being able to completely explain why that occurred.
“They was something there to excuse him, but we’re clearly hoping that we can get him back on his winning ways as he was last year.
“That [Commonwealth Cup] would still be on the agenda and it was our dream all winter, so I don’t see no reason why we can’t still continue that.”
Coventry Stakes winner Nando Parrado is also likely to head to Sandown Park for the Heron Stakes later this month, instead of the Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh.
He said: “He ran very well in the Greenham Stakes and we had Guineas entries for him at Newmarket, but the ground was too firm.
“We still have him in the Irish Guineas, but we’re more inclined to think he will stay at home.
“He lost his Group 2 penalty last year, so he could be heading to Sandown for the Heron Stakes on May 20 – which is a listed race.”
The trainer also has entries for racing at Newbury this weekend, with Diligent Harry in particular, but the ground may cause an issue.
“Diligent Harry is an exciting sprinter that we have in the Carnarvon Stakes on Saturday, but we wouldn’t want to explore soft ground and it looks a little bit imminent.
“With the 6f races beginning, some of our two-year-olds will have the chance to run that extra furlong because they have only done 5f until now and things start to open up with Royal Ascot on the horizon.”