18 November 2021

Saudi Arabia an option for staying star Princess Zoe

18 November 2021

Tony Mullins is considering a trip to Saudi Arabia with Princess Zoe after connections decided against a winter campaign over hurdles.

The daughter of Jukebox Jury enjoyed a remarkable rise last season, with a run of five straight victories culminating with Group One glory in the Prix du Cadran at ParisLongchamp.

And while Princess Zoe has failed to add her tally in 2021, she has run some fine races in defeat – most notably filling the runner-up spot behind Subjectivist in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

Having finished fifth behind Trueshan when defending her Cadran crown last month, and subsequently missed an appearance on Champions Day at Ascot, a switch to the jumping sphere was mooted.

But with that plan now shelved, Princess Zoe could be prepared for a trip to the Middle East in February.

Mullins said: “She’s in light training, but we’ve decided not to go hurdling. I feel it wouldn’t suit her, so we had her meeting and owners Paddy (Kehoe) and Philomena (Crampton) have agreed.

“We’re considering the staying race at the Saudi Cup meeting – the Red Sea Turf. It is a handicap, but I think it’s quite a tight handicap.

“We’re going to train her with that in mind and hopefully go there. She’s in light training the whole time and we’ll just see how she does over the winter months.”

Princess Zoe at Galway last year (PA) (PA Wire)

A decision on whether Princess Zoe will race on in Europe next season is likely to depend on how she performs in Riyadh.

Mullins added: “The way we’re looking at is if it doesn’t work out in Saudi, we’ll cover her, and if it does work out we’ll aim for aim for the Ascot Gold Cup – that’s sort of our rough plan at the moment.

“The track in Saudi should be good and level and we acted on good to firm at Ascot during the summer.

“I’m not a big fan of it (running on fast ground), but the timing is right as if it doesn’t work out then she will probably be covered.”

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