Sunday 25 March 2018

Wizard Weld can strike at Naas with the giant-slaying Zhukova

Dermot Weld's string gallop on the Curragh. Photo: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy
Dermot Weld's string gallop on the Curragh. Photo: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Dermot Weld was in tip-top form at the Curragh yesterday as he regaled the assembled press with tales of how he first set about conquering the world with ground-breaking global stars like Go And Go and Vintage Crop.

He seemed to particularly relish the prospect of tackling Found and possibly The Grey Gatsby with Fascinating Rock in the Tattersalls Gold Cup on Irish Guineas weekend.

"In my opinion, Found is the best mare in the world and The Grey Gatsby is a great contender as well," he said, before adding of last year's Champion Stakes hero:

"Fascinating Rock is in great form and came out of his race really well and hopefully we'll renew the challenge with Found. If The Grey Gatsby turns up, too, it should be a great race"

Fascinating Rock couldn't cope with a race-fit Found on his recent return at headquarters, but he looked on good terms with himself as he floated up the Old Vic gallop parallel to the Curragh straight yesterday morning.

Weld probably isn't sending anything quite so smart to Naas tonight, but he does have one of Found's conquerors to draw upon.

The Rosewell House wizard has won two of the last four editions of the Blue Wind Stakes, and he is tipped to do so again with Zhukova. Bocca Baciata, How High The Moon, Pretty Perfect, Glamorous Approach and Queen Blossom complete a decent field for the €80,000 fillies' Group Three over ten furlongs.

Maybe Bocca Baciata can concede the weight under Colm O'Donoghue, but zhukova appeals more, having slammed both the colt Success Days and Found on her Curragh return.

If Zhukova backs that up in suitable conditions here for Pat Smullen, she should win.


The same esteemed firm can also deliver the card's nap vote with Heartful in the final race.

Second to the Oaks trial winner Seventh Heaven on her Dundalk debut, the Shamardal filly looks the pick in this mile maiden. Aidan O'Brien has 11 runners in all. He could take the opening maiden with Cuff, which will be ridden by Seamie Heffernan, who could also collect aboard Sean O'Casey later.

O'Brien's son Donnacha, meanwhile, will have a big say in the juvenile winners' race aboard Ambiguity which can get the better of the Ger Lyons-trained Psychedelic Funk. The highflying apprentice might also take a bit of stopping on Sword Fighter in a poorly-contested 12-furlong conditions race for three-year-olds.

Irish Independent

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