Zuzka can build on creditable hurdling debut

Zuzka should open her account over hurdles in the Irish Stallion Farms Mares Maiden Hurdle in Sligo tomorrow.

Jumps action at the north-western track shares the Sunday spotlight with a flat card in Fairyhouse, the only domestic action for the weekend following the cancellation of today’s meeting in Tipperary die to waterlogging.

With Willie Mullins’ string in flying form, it’s impossible to oppose Zuzka as she attempts to build on a creditable hurdling debut third to Maxim Gorky at Gowran Park last month, when she was beaten less than five lengths.

Prior to her Gowran run, Zuzka, which carries the colours of the Supreme Horse Racing Club, had won bumpers in Kilbeggan and Limerick, beating previous winner Kilbarry Beauty on the latter occasion.

Against apparently modest opposition, Zuzka appears to have a straight-forward task tomorrow.

Winner of a maiden hurdle at Punchestown, Passage Vendome failed to cope with the step-up to three miles when runner-up to Whispering Hills at Kilbeggan last time. But he might bounce back, to initiate a double for Willie Mullins, in the Irish Stallion Farms Novice Hurdle.

The Chalie Swan-trained Tribes And Banner, far from disgraced when seventh to He’s Our Man in Gowran Park last time, has solid each-way claims in the Guinness Handicap Hurdle.

Meanwhile, in Fairyhouse, Blue Corner, impressive winner of a Curragh maiden on his belated debut back in May, will be expected to confirm the favourable impression created then in the four-runner Value Packages At Fairyhouse Race.

Highly-rated by his trainer Michael Halford, the Teofilo colt has been found a suitable stepping-stone between maiden and stakes company and is preferred to David Wachman’s Amira’s Prince (officially rated 98).

Eddie Lynam might provide a double for the Power family with Slade Power in the listed Belgrave Stakes and Regal Power in the Family Funday At Fairyhouse Maiden.

Beaten by Irish 1,000 Guineas runner-up and Royal Ascot winner Ishvana in his penultimate start at Dundalk, Slade Power overcame Es Que Love in a six-furlong listed event at Haydock last time and might be capable of following-up under a 3lb. penalty.

Aidan O’Brien’s filly After, a beaten favourite at Naas on Wednesday, might pose the biggest threat to Slade Power.

Later, Regal Power, which has shown progressive form in recent outings, although proving no match for Alkazim at Naas last time, is preferred to Dermot Weld’s Encrypted Message in the seven-furlong maiden.

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