Cheltenham Festival 2023: Tony Mullins 'astounded' at Princess Zoe's price – Irish Mirror

The eight-year-old excelled on the flat, winning the Group 1 Prix du Cadran back in 2020
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Tony Mullins says he is "astounded" at Princess Zoe's price of 12/1 for the Mares Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
The eight-year-old excelled on the flat, winning the Group 1 Prix du Cadran back in 2020, while also finishing second in the Ascot Gold Cup behind Subjectivist in 2021.
She dead-heated for first place with 40/1 shot Ladybank on her hurdles debut at Punchestown at the end of January and Mullins, the brother of champion trainer Willie, believes she has a big chance at Cheltenham next week.
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He told Paddy Power's Ultimate Cheltenham Preview Night: "I believe that she has a winning chance and I'm astounded at her price."
On his thoughts on the race as a whole, Tony added: "The interesting thing here is Luccia has never come off the bridle in her life. I'm surprised they're not going for the Supreme with her. She has a five-pound penalty here and she'd have a seven-pound allowance in the Supreme which would give her a 12-pound advantage in the Supreme."
He then joked: "Nicky (Henderson) just go away. Hopefully she goes there but I don't think she will. I think she'll come here but she has a five-pound penalty, Ashroe Diamond also has a five-pound penalty, then you have a platter of fillies of Willie's, then you have Magical Zoe, but our one has done it all.
"She had a sort of rushed preparation for the race in Punchestown because we had it half in our head that we might run in the Johnstown Hurdle, then we decided that she had done enough in Punchestown. But it was a rushed preparation.
"I was thrilled (after the Punchestown race). Coming off the bend when Danny went for home she shot five lengths clear and the reason she made a mistake at the last was she conked out. He (Danny) said 50 yards from the last she conked out and with her natural ability after making a bad mistake, she held on to dead-heat.
"I think it was a brilliant run. Istabraq got beat in his first run over hurdles… Dawn Run got beat… for her to go out and win with a rushed preparation, in fairness everything has gone perfectly since.
"I can't believe she's 12/1 and I've been telling Paddy Keogh (owner) if he doesn't keep backing her now, I'm going to call him a coward if she doesn't keep shortening."
Asked how he will be on the day of the race, Tony replied: "I'll be very nervous. I go over to Cheltenham with horses hoping if they run the race of their lives that they're placed. I believe this one has a serious genuine chance of winning."
He also brought Princess Zoe over to his brother Willie's yard to jump over the fences that have a white line rather than an orange one after white markings on the frames, guard rails and take-off boards replaced traditional orange colourings on obstacles at every British racecourse last year.
Tony explained: "I've had her over at Willie's jumping those white fences and she jumped well, but Danny did say the first morning we went over when they were white that she did have a look.
"A lot of people don't believe that there is a difference. If you back to Hey Johnny in November (at Cheltenham) when Charlie Mullins rode him in the handicap hurdle. White flag raised, down to the first hurdle and Charlie went over his head. I agree with him (Willie). I love these new white markings, I think it's a great concept but it's just something you have to be schooled to do.
"I'm not saying they're wrong. I think they're brilliant and in my opinion horses are definitely jumping better since they've come in. Horses can identify better. I love them, but you just have to school over them."
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