Princess Zoe Heading Back To France

Princess Zoe

Princess Zoe for trainer Tony Mullins has been one of the shining lights in Irish racing this season and having landed a Group One in France last time out she is heading back across the pond looking for more black type glory.

Seamie Heffernan will take over in the saddle from suspended apprentice Joey Sheridan this time around and the experienced rider got to know his big-race mount in a workout over the weekend.

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 landed a listed event the five year old was sent to ParisLongchamp for her first taste of Group One company in the Prix du Cadran over 2m4f.

Having never raced over 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.

She is now primed for another crack at Group One glory with the Prix Royal-Oak at ParisLongchamp her big target.

“She’s as fit as she can be,” said Mullins.

“Seamie sat on her on Sunday – he was very happy with her, and we were very happy with him.

“Joey is obviously suspended, which is a shame. He got six days for too many strikes with the whip, and they doubled the penalty because it was a Group One – which is a rule I couldn’t find in any rule book anywhere. Anyway, that’s the way it goes.

“We’re very happy with the mare. All I can say is that in the back of my mind I’m thinking a two-and-a-half-mile race less than three weeks ago has to take its toll at some stage, but there is no evidence at the moment, so we’re set to go.

“We’ve done all our blood tests, and everything is perfect. I would say the next one is the acid test, in the last 100 metres next Sunday.”

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