08/27/2009 12:00AM

Zacinto faces tough Delegator


Zacinto gets his acid test at Goodwood on Saturday when he meets Delegator in the Group 2, $163,000 Celebration Mile. A highly regarded 3-year-old son of Dansili trained by Michael Stoute for Juddmonte, Zacinto returned from an injury-induced 10 1/2-month absence on Aug. 1 with a narrow course-and-distance win in the listed Thoroughbred Stakes, a race that should advance him considerably.

After his eight-length maiden debut victory at Sandown last July, Zacinto was immediately installed as the antepost favorite for this year's 2000 Guineas. His neck second to Westphalia in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster in September dampened that assessment only slightly, but injuries after that race and in March ruled him out of the Guineas. He is expected to start as the 9-4 second choice in the Celebration with Ryan Moore aboard.

Another son of Dansili, Delegator, looms the odds-on favorite. Second by 1 1/2 lengths to Sea the Stars in the 2000 Guineas, he was most recently a neck second to Mastercraftsman in the St. James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 16. He was purchased by Godolphin since that race and switched from Brian Meehan to Saeed bin Suroor.

Frankie Dettori will ride Delegator for the first time in the Celebration, a race won last year by Raven's Pass, the subsequent winner of both the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Cesare, second in this race two years ago, and recent Group 3 mile winner Mac Love appear to be running for third-place money.

* King's Apostle, who had earned himself a spot in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint with his win in the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville on Aug. 9, has been retired because of an unspecified injury.