Princess Zoe To Stay On The Flat As Jumping Plans Shutdown

Princess Zoe

The Tony Mullins trained Princess Zoe will stay on the flat next season as the trainer quashed the thoughts that he may be sent over hurdles during the national hunt season.

She has been one of the shining lights in Irish racing this season and having landed a Group One in France two starts ago she headed back across the pond looking for more black type glory last weekend but unfortunately fell short.

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.

Mullins said: “She pulled out fine this morning and is in transit as we speak. The people looking after her said she looked a bit tired, which I can believe.

“The way she ran tells me that we’re going to have some action again next year. You might have been worried what she did in the Cadran was a flash in the pan, but she showed me yesterday that she’s a serious trier and we’ll be at the top table again next summer.

“There’s no doubt the 22-day turnaround was just a step too far. I thought she performed admirably under the circumstances.”

It now looks as though Mullins will give her some time off before planning for her to be entered in some huge events, With Saudi Arabia, Meydan and Royal Ascot all looking to possibly be on the agenda.

He added: “She’ll have a holiday now. There is a chance that we could go to Saudi Arabia in February – if we were sure the ground wasn’t going to be firm, that could come onto the table.

“I’d say the Ascot Gold Cup will be a target. I don’t see us having a busy summer, because I want to leave enough petrol there for the likes of the Prix du Cadran and the race yesterday again.

“It’s very early to be making definite plans, but my talk of going for the Arc might be gone off the table for the moment – we’re looking at stamina races.”