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Last Updated: 28/12/12 1:31pm
Willie Mullins' Zuzka is the one to beat
Willie Mullins is hopeful a repeat of Zuzka's last run at Fairyhouse will make her difficult to beat in the I.T.B.A Fillies Scheme European Breeders Fund Mares Hurdle at Leopardstown on Saturday.
The five-year-old has yet to finish outside the first three in nine career starts and ran a career-best when not beaten far into third by the Jessica Harrington-trained Jezki in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse last time out.
That form looks red-hot following Jezki's awesome performance in Thursday's Future Champions Novice Hurdle and Zuzka is likely to be a warm order back against her own sex this weekend.
Mullins also saddles Glens Melody, a winner of four of her five starts and the champion trainer said: "Zuzka is in good form and if she can repeat her last run that would be very good.
"It's a step up for Glens Melody but she has done nothing wrong and I think she deserves a crack at a race like this."
Harrington is keeping her fingers crossed of a bold show from Burn And Turn, but is fearful of the threat posed by Zuzka following that fine run behind her star youngster.
"Hopefully she has a good chance, I just hope it doesn't rain too much as the better the ground the better she is. She's in good form, but I think Willie's mare who was third to Jezki at Fairyhouse is going to be very hard to beat," said Harrington.
Dream Function won twice over hurdles for Philip Hobbs in England before making a winning debut over fences on her first start for Colm Murphy at Clonmel earlier this month.
She returns to the smaller obstacles for this Grade Three contest and Murphy is hoping conditions do not deteriorate any further.
He said: "She won well on her first run for us over fences, but this is obviously a big step up for her now. Ideally we'd want better ground, you'd hate to run on heavy ground really, but there isn't much option for her at the moment so we'll take our chance."