Princess Zoe Gets Arc Target For Next Season

Princess Zoe

Princess Zoe was one of the shining lights during the flat season last term for the Irish, landing the Group 1 Prix du Cadran on Arc weekend in dramatic fashion and now her trainer Tony Mullins is dreaming even bigger by entering her into the Arc next season.

Princess Zoe has really made a name for herself this term having made a massive rise through the ranks from a horse off a mark of 64 to now winning Group One events.

Having moved over to Tony Mullins' yard from Germany this year, the handler did not know what to expect with the mare and in June she was sent to Navan where she finished a good second in a handicap event.

She then headed to the Curragh where she broke her duck in Ireland winning another good handicap and then raced three straight times at Galway and won all he races landing four straight races in a row and becoming a specialist at the track.

Having never raced further 1m4f, stepping up a mile looked strange but it was a genius stroke by the handler as late on in the day the mare managed to stay on best of all to land the event, to the delight of her connections and trainer.

The five-year-old was bidding for a sixth successive win on her return to Paris for the Prix Royal-Oak and although not going on to win, she was far from disgraced in finishing fourth behind the Mark Johnston-trained Subjectivist.

After a breakthrough season under Mullins, the brother of leading jumps trainer Willie Mullins is now looking way beyond where he thought he could go with this horse and her season will be aimed at heading to the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and she is currently a 66/1 shot to land the ParisLongchamp feature.

(Credit Racing Post) Mullins said: "I don't know if there's many who agree with me, but I believe we'd have won it [the Arc] this year if I had the guts to go for it.

"I thought I was stepping up hugely in grade as it was in the Cadran and when it was suggested to me I thought it was crazy, but now I don't. I'd have loved to have run in the Arc."

With plans to send her over hurdles during the winter put on the back burner, Mullins has admitted that she has comeback into training soon than they were originally proposing and she may now be start her season off in a 1m7f handicap worth $2.5 million on the undercard of the Saudi Cup at Riyadh.

"We had let her off and intended to give her a good rest, but she hated it," explained Mullins.

"She was in bad form and started to kick at us and everything, but she's really back to herself now after a week and a half of being back in. She's like myself – she just loves hard work!"

He added: "If we were guaranteed good ground I would take it very seriously, but good to firm is different with a whole season ahead of us. We'd definitely consider it if we were guaranteed good ground. Travelling to Saudi is an outside chance."