Following a career best effort last weekend, Lulu The Zulu is set to try to continue her remorseless rise up racing’s ranks by contesting the £120,000 bet365 Bunbury Cup at Newmarket’s Adnams July Course on Saturday, 11th July.

Now seven years of age, Lulu The Zulu ran well when going down by a head to fellow Bunbury Cup candidate, Zarwaan, in a competitive seven furlong handicap at Newcastle on Saturday. Despite a slow start, she managed to hit the front in the closing stages only to be caught close home.

Owned by a six-strong syndicate of owners from the village of Ab Kettleby in Leicestershire and trained in Nottinghamshire by Mick Appleby, Lulu The Zulu has a remarkable back story.

Unsold for 800 euros at the yearling sales, she failed to make the racecourse until the age of four. Her debut, in a two mile bumper, was a disaster – she finished tailed off last, beaten 112 lengths.

Switched to flat racing and dropped dramatically in trip to the bet365 Bunbury Cup distance of seven furlongs, she has risen in the weights by over two stone in the last two years and is now knocking heads with some of the best handicappers in the country.

The bet365 Bunbury Cup has a maximum field size of 20 runners and Lulu The Zulu is currently in 28th place in the weights with 9st 0lbs.

But, for the first time this year, horses that are declared to run but are eliminated at the declaration stage will have the chance to run instead in Friday, 10th July’s £30,000 Take The Abelio Greater Anglia Train Handicap (Silver Bunbury Cup).

Mick Appleby, trainer of Lulu The Zulu, said:

“Lulu The Zulu has come out of her Newcastle run in very good form and she’ll be declared for the bet365 Bunbury Cup.”

“It was a very good effort at Newcastle and she was unlucky not to win. In hindsight, if Andrew [Mullen, her jockey] had stayed on the side of the course that he was on rather than switching her over she could have won, so you could say that she is a winner without a penalty.”

“She’s still improving as she didn’t run in a flat race until the age of five.”

“She would be my first runner in the Bunbury Cup and it would be a very good race to win.”

“Her owners are a good bunch of lads and, given that she was originally bought to go jumping, she’s already given them some great days out and taken them to the likes of Goodwood and Ascot.”