Trainer Tony Mullins is hopeful Princess Zoe (14/1 Outright) can defeat Kyprios (4/6 Fav) in the Qatar Prix du Cadran at Paris LongChamp on Saturday, though he concedes it will be a tough ask.
The seven-year-old won this Group One race on Arc weekend two years ago after narrowly defeating Alkuin at the finishing post by half a length.
It was her fifth consecutive victory at the time and there was a lot of hope placed upon her to win more big races.
However, it hasn’t quite happened for the grey mare and she has had to watch others progress instead of her.
She won the Group Three Longines Sagaro Stakes at Ascot in April but in three starts since, she has had to watch Aidan O’Brien’s (pictured) Kyprios win comfortably ahead of her.
She was sixth in both the Ascot Gold Cup and Irish St Leger at Curragh, while seventh was the best she could muster in the Goodwood Cup Stakes back in July.
Another tilt at the Prix du Cadran is on the agenda and Mullins admits Kyprios could be in a class of his own in the one-mile and six-furlong contest.
However, the trainer thinks she could still challenge for victory if the ground conditions are soft enough.
“Stradivarius’ run had to come to the end so there was always going to be a new kid to beat and Kyprios seems to be the one,” Mullins told Sky Sports Racing.
“We’re going over to try and beat Kyprios but, in reality, if we could be second to him then that’s about as much as we can hope for. He looks to me like an absolute champion. He’s danced every dance all the season.
“She [Princess Zoe] is better [with softer conditions] because a good test of stamina is what brings out the best in her but people forget that she won the Sagaro on good to firm and was second in the Ascot Gold Cup last year on good to firm.”
Defending champions Trueshan is absent from the field and will instead go straight to Ascot for the Long Distance Cup on October 15 (Trueshan 13/8JF, Kyprios 13/8JF – Long Distance Cup).