06/30/2017 3:00PM

Zhukova back at home for Pretty Polly

Barbara D. Livingston
Zhukova won the Man o’War at Belmont over very soft ground.

Zhukova had a successful journey from Ireland to New York last month, winning the Grade 1 Man o’ War Stakes against males at Belmont Park on May 13.

Her next assignment is much closer to home – Sunday’s Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes for fillies and mares at The Curragh in Ireland. Zhukova won the Man o’ War on a very soft course and is expected to get a similar type of ground Sunday.

The $256,792 Pretty Polly Stakes, at 1 1/4 miles on turf, drew a field of 10 and is one of three Group 1 races in Europe on Sunday. The $456,520 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud for older horses at 1 1/2 miles on turf is run in Paris. The $741,845 German Derby at Hamburg drew a field of 19.

The 4-year-old Zhukova is unbeaten in two starts this year for trainer Dermot Weld, having won the Noblesse Stakes at 1 1/2 miles on turf at Cork, Ireland, in April.

The Pretty Polly Stakes field includes Journey, who won the Group 1 British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes at Ascot last October and was fifth in the Group 1 Coronation Cup against males at Epsom on June 2, and Santa Monica, who won the Group 3 Munster Oaks at Cork on June 18.

Pocketfullofdreams, who won for the first time in her career in her 10th start at Naas on Wednesday, is one of two entrants trained by Aidan O’Brien. He also starts Rain Goddess, who was second in the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot on June 21.

Silverwave is expected to be favored to win the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud for the second consecutive year. Trained by Pascal Bary, Silverwave was third in the Group 1 Prix Ganay at Saint-Cloud on May 1 in his first start of the year and won the Group 2 Grand Prix de Chantilly at 1 1/2 miles on June 4.

Hawkbill, third in the Coronation Cup, and Zarak, last of five in the Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan at Chantilly on May 28, appear to be the biggest threats to Silverwave.

The Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud will be the second start of 2017 for Erupt, who won the Grade 1 Canadian International at Woodbine last year and was fourth in the Prix Ganay. Erupt was second to Silverwave in the 2016 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.

The German Derby is run at 1 1/2 miles, and the big field is led by Colomano, who won the Group 2 Oppenheim-Union-Rennen at 1 3/8 miles on turf at Cologne on June 11. Colomano is trained by Markus Klug, who has seven runners in the German Derby, including Windstoss, who was second in the Cologne race.

Langtang, the winner of a Group 3 at 1 1/4 miles at Baden-Baden on May 28, merits respect.