Superb Zhukova doubles up for Fastnet

Zhukova (Fastnet Rock) winning the Enterprise Stakes (Gr.3) at Leopardstown

A great  Saturday for Fastnet Rock continued when Dermot Weld sent out Zhukova (4f Fastnet Rock-Nightime, by Galileo) to take the G3 Enterprise Stakes at Leopardstown.

Earlier, in the day Rivet (2c Fastnet Rock-Starship, by Galileo) had won the G2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster and Zhukova completed a memorable afternoon with her Irish success.

The progressive filly, who was bred by Weld’s late mother Marguerite, is now set to be tested in G1 company.

“The plan has always been the G1 Fillies and Mares on British Champions Weekend. I’ve had that in mind for her since April,” said Weld. “She enjoyed her summer break and has come back to be what I expected her to be – a Group 1 filly before the end of the year.

“It’s equally pleasing to have bred her with my late mother. She’s out of Nightime who gave my mother a great day when winning the (Irish) 1,000 Guineas.

“I’m more looking forward to next year and think she’ll be a serious mare then. The best is yet to come.”

Winning rider Pat Smullen continued: “She’s a lovely mare, with a lovely big stride on her. I was quite happy to sit up, just behind the pacemaker, and she was always going to get to the line good. She showed a great turn of foot today, she quickened really well off the turn.

“She’s a good mare but I am a little bit surprised at how she did it, knowing that she will improve for the run. That’s scary.”

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