Princess Zoe will bid to crown her fairytale campaign with Group One glory in the Prix du Cadran at ParisLongchamp on Saturday.
Formerly trained in Germany, the daughter of Jukebox Jury was given a mark of just 64 by the Irish handicapper and finished second on her first start for Tony Mullins at Navan in June.
Three months on, the grey has earned a three-figure figure rating with four consecutive victories – winning the Ladies Derby and landing two valuable handicaps at the Galway Festival, before returning to Ballybrit to land a Listed prize earlier this month.
Having come within half a length of of winning the Cesarewitch with Party Playboy last autumn, Mullins considered sending Princess Zoe to Newmarket in a bid to go one better, but she is instead set to head for France on Arc weekend.
Mullins said: “We took her out of the Cesarewitch as she had top weight and I thought it was a bit much to ask.
“We nearly won it last year with another horse for the same owner (Party Playboy), so it would have been lovely to go back. The lack of prize money was a big factor and I just felt at the end of a long year, we’d be better going for a bit of black type.
“At the moment our intention is to go for the Prix du Cadran. She’s moved from a low handicapper to the top of the handicap, then she moved nicely to Listed class and now we’re just hoping she can move into Group class.
“We can nearly guarantee there’ll be a cut in the ground in Longchamp. As long as there’s no firmness in the ground, we’re happy to go.”
The Kilkenny-based trainer confirmed leading Irish apprentice Joey Sheridan is set to keep the ride in Paris.
He added: “A good few jockeys have been looking for the ride, which tells me there’s going to be very few runners. But at the moment, my owner is happy to leave Joey Sheridan on, even though he can’t claim.
“Joey is a 5lb claimer, but he has already won three Listed races this year with no claim, which is phenomenal. I can’t ever remember an apprentice winning three Listed races when still having a 5lb claim.”
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