Feature Story

Weld mulling Ezeliya’s options, hints at autumn campaign targeting Arc

Weld mulling Ezeliya’s options, hints at autumn campaign targeting Arc Jun 5, 2024

By Duane Fonseca - 

Irish legend and dual Epsom Oaks-winning trainer Dermot Weld has hinted his 2024 heroine Ezeliya could be given a mid-season break with the intention of preparing her for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at ParisLongchamp in October.

Weld was impressed by the nature of the win scripted by the Aga Khan-owned filly, who ran home three clear of Godolphin’s Dance Sequence, the pair ensuring a 1-2 for Darley sire Dubawi. The 75-year-old conditioner is keen for Ezeliya to contest the Arc, a race in which she is entitled to the standard three-kilogramme allowance for three-year-old horses and a further fillies’ allowance.

Given a break, Ezeliya would miss the Irish Oaks on June 20, a race Weld has won twice in the past with Blue Wind (1981) and Dance Design (1996). However, the County Kildare based trainer is in no mood to rush his charge and is taking time to assess what’s best for her.

Speaking to Racing TV’s Luck On Sunday, Weld hinted at putting Ezeliya on the Arc trail, starting with the Prix Vermeille in mid-September, a fillies and mares contest considered a course and distance prep for the ParisLongchamp showpiece.

Weld, who won the 2020 running of the Prix Vermeille with Tarnawa, said: “We’ll all have a discussion and decide whether she goes for the Irish Oaks or whether we give her a little bit more time and leave her off for the month of June and bring her back for an autumn campaign.

“Maybe a race like the Prix Vermeille, which has been good for us in the past, and if she progresses like I think she can, maybe have a crack at the Arc with her but that is all to be decided.

“The fact she’s a three-year-old filly and gets the allowances would be a factor, but I often say she’ll tell me if it’s bridge too far, but we’ll only know that in the autumn when I see how she is training and how she runs.”