Runner-up to Subjectivist in the Ascot Gold Cup in 2021 and winner of the Group 3 Sagaro Stakes at the Berkshire track last April, the popular eight-year-old made a winning start to her hurdling career, dead-heating with Ladybank at Punchestown in January.

Thrown into the deep waters of the Jack De Bromhead Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham for her second attempt in this sphere, Danny Mullins’ mount finished a creditable fifth to You Wear It Well after a mistake at the final flight.

Mullins was far from disappointed with the popular grey’s four-and-a-half-length defeat.

He said: “We were delighted. I suppose that her second run over hurdles, when she really came off the bridle going to the second-last, there was a little lack of experience, but it was a good run.

“She needs further. We were caught between two miles or a full three miles in the Albert Bartlett.

“We decided that with the Albert Bartlett, which we had her entered for, we felt in the last couple of weeks it had turned out to be a good race, but I don’t know. Was it?

“The three (miles) would have been extreme for her second run over hurdles, so we went for this race (two miles and one furlong), and now I’d love to see what would have happened if we went the other way!

“We wanted to ride a bit handier and Danny said he was as close as he could be without coming off the bridle early on.

“We didn’t want to put her off the bridle early. She came into it nicely and it was just the lack of experience coming to the last.”

Owners Paddy Keyhoe and Philomena Crampton are now exploring options as they are keen to continue her racing career.

While they have not ruled out another run in the Ascot Gold Cup, in which she finished a six-and-three-quarter-length sixth to Kyprios last June, connections are keen to see how far she can go over hurdles.

“The owner has said to me he has no interest in breeding, which suits me fine,” said Mullins. “He wants to race her as long as she is safe and sound.

“She had a few cuts and scrapes, but we are hoping that she’ll run on Easter Sunday at Fairyhouse – there’s a €100,000 mares’ novice (Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final).

“Just looking at that race, she would be 5lb worse off with the main protagonists (You Wear It Well and Magical Zoe), who carried penalties at Cheltenham but wouldn’t in a Grade 1.

“That puts us 5lb worse off, but I think we’ll negate that with the extra half-mile, as it is over two and a half miles.”

For winning the Sagaro, Princess Zoe added £45,368 to her prize-money haul, which stands at over £420,000, but found herself subsequently beaten four times by Aidan O’Brien’s Kyprios.

“We’ve been looking at going on the flat again. I’m sure she will, but she can win more money over jumps and I feel with a lot less opposition,” said Mullins.

“It is hard to believe, but the race is [worth] €100,000 on Easter Sunday, the Punchestown mares’ novice is worth €125,000, the Galway Hurdle is €300,000 and there is no Kyprios and the like to take on – and he’s the best stayer I’ve ever seen.

“What he did at Longchamp was breathtaking. He ran around like the Benny Hill Show and still won by 23 lengths!

“We haven’t dispensed with the idea (of a Gold Cup) but we feel there is so much money over jumps – which I can’t believe I’m saying, as this has never happened before – with less opposition.”