Mullins plots middle-distance path for Princess Zoe
Princess Zoe may start her 2021 campaign in the Alleged Stakes at the Curragh in April.
Trainer Tony Mullins is thinking of dropping his Group One-winning stayer down to a mile and a quarter, because he believes she does not need extreme distances to bring out her best.
Princess Zoe made remarkable progress last year, winning five races in a row culminating in the Group One Prix du Cadran over two and a half miles at ParisLongchamp – twice the distance of the Alleged Stakes.
However, Mullins is keen to see how she performs at middle distances.
“We’re looking at the Alleged Stakes,” the Gowran trainer said in an interview posted on his Twitter account.
“It’s only a mile and a quarter. I don’t know if it’s a winnable distance for her at that level, but we’re going to try it.
“I have always been adamant that she’s as good at a mile and a half as she is at two and a half – so we’re going to set about proving it. If we’re wrong we’ll switch back and use distance races, but her work has shown me she is a Group filly at a mile and a half – and we intend to prove it to the public.”
Princess Zoe was last seen in October, when her winning run ended with honourable defeat over just short of two miles as she tried to double her Group One tally in the Prix Royal-Oak at ParisLongchamp.
Preparation for the grey mare’s six-year-old campaign is under way, however.
“She’s done loads of slow work in very soft ground and will probably go away now,” added Mullins.
“Jim Bolger very kindly lets us work in his place so she might go there or up the Old Vic on the Curragh and then we’ll decide the next move after the first piece of work.”