Horses To Follow » Zhukova


Zhukova put up a really impressive performance to land the Group 3 Blue Wind Stakes at Navan on Wednesday. Dermot Weld’s filly travelled well down the back straight, but she came under pressure early. That wasn’t hugely surprising, she kept on well to win the Listed Oyster Stakes at Galway last September, staying on well up Galway’s stiff final incline, and this 10-furlong trip was always going to be on the sharp side for her. She kept on really well, however, and stayed on strongly to come right away from the progressive Pretty Perfect and the talented Bocca Baciata.

This was just Zhukova’s sixth run ever, and it was her second of the season. On her debut this term, she kept on well on heavy ground to beat Success Days in the Listed Alleged Stakes over 10 furlongs at The Curragh. She should be able to go on from this now, this is a race that has been won in the past by good fillies like Pleascach and Tarfasha and Banimpire. Also, it is difficult for the four-year-olds to give away a stone to the three-year-olds, only one older filly had prevailed in the previous 10 renewals despite accounting for 43% of the runners.

Dermot Weld said that he will probably put Zhukova away now and train her with an autumn campaign in mind. That makes a lot of sense, she does go well on easy ground and there is a good programme of races for middle-distance fillies in the late summer and early autumn. She is a filly to keep in mind. She could be very good.

11th May 2016