Sport Horse Racing

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Weld sets sights on Arc tilt for Zhukova

Trainer Dermot Weld. Photo: Sportsfile
Trainer Dermot Weld. Photo: Sportsfile

Johnny Ward

Dermot Weld is considering an ambitious tilt at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe with high-class mare Zhukova.

The daughter of Fastnet Rock won her first three starts of last season, but disappointed when stepped up to the highest level in the British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot in October.

She righted that wrong with a stunning display in the Grade One Man O'War Stakes at Belmont Park in May, and was last seen finishing a creditable fourth in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.

"She put up a spectacular performance when she won the Man O'War for us and we're delighted with her," Weld told At The Races.

"She's in great order and we'll speak with her owner and decide whether we train her for the Arc or go back to Belmont for the Turf Classic and then races like the Canadian International. All those great races are there in the fall for her.

"If I thought we were going to get a wet autumn, we'd definitely train her for the Arc," he added.

The Kieran Kelly Memorial Beginners Chase honours a rider who so tragically died in 2003 at Kilbeggan tonight. A Rated, which unseated at Galway, is a speculative choice under Barry O'Neill.

The feature race sees local owner Michael O'Leary strongly represented. Archive looks the pick of his pair but A Sizing Network is preferred for Jessica Harrington. This horse's stamina looked to be stretched at Wexford last time and tonight's distance is more suitable under Robbie Power.

Irish Independent

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