Zoff Takes On The Big Boys
by Ryan Tongue
28th November 2020

Glorious Zoff takes a big step in class on Sunday, when he runs in the Grade 3 Bar One Racing Price Boost Juvenile Hurdle, at the prestigious Hatton’s Grace Hurdle meeting at Fairyhouse. This is not just a thrilling day for the owners of Glorious Zoff but for everyone involved with Deva Racing, due to this being the first time that we have had a runner in a Graded race.

Gordon Elliott’s charge could not have been more impressive when winning on hurdle debut at Sligo in October and the manner of that victory was so notable that he was added into the Triumph Hurdle betting, at Cheltenham in March. He was turned out quickly after that victory when running at Sedgefield, and although that race did not go to plan, there were plenty of reasons to be positive. Most significant, was the fact that the third horse since went out and won under a penalty at Catterick last week.

As you would expect with a graded race, it is a race full of quality and unknown quantities. Gordon runs another horse in the race called ‘Zanahiyr’, who was progressive on the flat and then went on to win a decent juvenile hurdle at Ballinrobe, impressively. Joseph O’Brien runs a horse who is rated in the mid-80s on the flat and who has gone on and won his only start over hurdles to date. While the all-conquering Willie Mullins, runs a little known horse from France who could be anything.

This will clearly be a test for Glorious Zoff on ground that is likely to be on the softer side than ideal, but it is great to see that Gordon clearly thinks highly of our horse to run him in this race.

Unfortunately, Keith Donoghue who rode him so well at Sligo is unable to do the weight. Obviously, this is slightly disappointing as Keith is a top-class pilot, however, Denis O’Regan will ride and he is more than an able deputy. We look forward to the day ahead and whatever is to happen, it is great knowing that we have a horse to take us to the big days.

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