Dermot Weld’s Group One hopes for Zhukova boosted
Mare returns to action in the Noblesse Stakes in Cork on Saturday
Trainer Dermot Weld will run Zhukova in the Noblesse Stakes in Cork. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Dermot Weld’s Group One ambitions for Zhukova should be intact following the mare’s return to action at Cork on Saturday.
She has to concede weight to her six opponents in the Listed Noblesse Stakes but that’s hardly too big an ask for a horse capable of putting no less than the subsequent Arc heroine Found in her place last season.
Zhukova wound up 2016 behind Journey at Ascot’s “Champions Day” although she was clearly not at her best on that occasion.
“She loves a good dig in the ground and there should be plenty in Cork. It’s one of the best tracks in Europe, never mind Ireland,” Weld said.
The jumps take over at Cork on Easter Sunday where Robbie Power warms up for his Irish National ride on Our Duke with half a dozen rides.
They include English Pale in the first maiden hurdle while Loughaderra Prince could also go well for the in-form pilot in the other maiden.