Dermot Weld gives fragile Zawraq the chance to shine at Limerick

Saturday, Oct 7 2017

Zawraq is due to have two runs in the same season for the first time in his career when he contests the Martin Molony Stakes at Limerick on Saturday.

Dermot Weld's five-year-old was favourite for the Derby at one stage after winning a Guineas Trial at Leopardstown in April 2015.

Injury kept him off the track for the rest of his Classic season and he did not reappear until last October when he finished second in the Trigo Stakes.

Zawraq was then absent until September when he ran a race full of promise behind Riven Light, who is now bound for Australia.

"It's a case of fingers crossed, every day he is sound is a bonus," said Angus Gold, owner Hamdan Al Maktoum's racing manager.

"It was a very encouraging first run back. Not surprisingly he looked a little rusty but he came home well.

"That was over nine furlongs and the step up in trip should suit him.

"I think we'd like to run him on better ground - there aren't many who like genuine heavy - but he's had so many problems anyway that he wouldn't be running on quick ground.

"There's no doubting his ability but unfortunately his wheels haven't been able to carry him."

On ratings, the biggest threats to Zawraq are Cannonball and Glamorous Approach.

One not to be underestimated, though, is Rashaan, a dual-purpose performer who won over hurdles last time out.

"He's in great form and I'm keen to get a run into him," said trainer Colin Kidd.

"The one reason we picked out this race is because he definitely seems to be better on right-handed tracks and there wasn't a lot coming up for him over hurdles.

"We'll see how he goes and make a plan from there. Unfortunately he doesn't qualify for the race he won in Down Royal last year.

"We'll also have to see what the ground is like as if it went very heavy, we'd give him a break.

"He's been on the go all summer, so I won't expect him to stay on the go all winter as well."



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