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Half-sister to Zhukova wins on debut in Cholet maiden

Raven's Pass filly is out of Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Nightime

Zhukova: bids to add further lustre to trainer Dermot Weld's international record at Belmont Park
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Cholet, a racecourse in western France that only has three fixtures a year, welcomed a special visitor on Tuesday as the regally-bred Midnight Fair ran out an eight-length winner of the 1m2½f maiden for unraced three-year-olds.

In second was Mont Dore, a Kendargent half-brother to Listed winner Mocklershill, with the Sea The Stars filly Marie The Sea in third.

Bred by trainer Dermot Weld's parents, Midnight Fair is by Raven's Pass out of Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Nightime.

Trainer Henri-Alex Pantall and jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot teamed up with the filly, whose debut could not have been timed any better as her half-sister Zhukova added the Listed Noblesse Stakes to her trophy cabinet at Cork on Saturday.

Trained by Weld, Zhukova first appeared at three but soon brought up a winning sequence that including two Listed contests and the Blue Wind Stakes and KPMG Enterprise Stakes, both Group 3s.

However, she could only manage seventh when stepped up to Group 1 company in the Fillies and Mares Stakes at Ascot last October.

Nightime gave Weld a third success in the Irish 1,000 Guineas after Prince's Polly and Trusted Partner, and her dam Caumshinaun - like Zhukova - won a Listed race at Cork. 

Zhukova holds a number of entries for Group races, including the Group 3 Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan on Sunday and the Tattersalls Gold Cup. 

Nightime has also produced the Listed-placed Sleeping Beauty and the winning New Year's Night. She has a two-year-old Dubawi colt and a yearling Zoffany filly.

Midnight Fair was sold for 450,000gns at the 2015 Tattersalls October Book 1 Sale to John Ferguson, who also picked up her year-younger half-sister for €1.1m at the Goffs November Foal Sale.

Raven's Pass has another exciting runner in Tocco D'Amore, who is out of the Sadler's Wells mare Spirit Of Tara. She topped the 2015 Goffs Orby Yearling Sale when selling for €2 million, and ran out an easy winner on debut at Naas earlier this month. 

The 12-year-old son of Elusive Quality is standing his ninth season at Kildangan Stud at a career-low fee of €12,000.

View race result

In second was Mont Dore, a Kendargent half-brother to Listed winner Mocklershill
E.W. Terms
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