Adrian Heskin harbours hopes that Magical Zoe is the horse who can kickstart his career back in Ireland ahead of Friday’s Bottlegreen Hurdle at Down Royal.
Heskin has moved back home following the ending of his retainer with owner Max McNeill in the UK and would love a headline horse to propel him back into the big time.
Trained by Henry de Bromhead, Magical Zoe won at this corresponding meeting last year and was then absent until beating all bar Jamie Snowden’s You Wear It Well at Cheltenham in the Dawn Run.
Magical Zoe has already won this season but faces a tough ask against the geldings – in particular Gordon Elliott’s Irish Point.
“She was very good in Gowran on her reappearance and we’re looking forward to the weekend,” Heskin told Down Royal racecourse.
“I’m very lucky to have her. She’s owned by a couple of good friends of mine in Paddy and Scott Bryceland, so she’s a very important mare to me and all of us.
“We couldn’t have dreamt she’d have done what she’s done so far, but we’re really enjoying having her and really appreciate it.
“She’s massive for me because you need a horse like her to keep your name up in lights, so hopefully she’s able to do so.
“She won first time out, she went to this meeting last year and won the mares’ novice there and then she lost nothing in defeat at Cheltenham finishing second. I think she’s been very well handled by Henry and the team, he’s picked his targets and the majority have worked out well.
“Hopefully she continues to impress us.”
Magical Zoe takes on Irish Point, a Grade One winner at Aintree as a novice last season and Andy Slattery’s Sir Allen.
A total of 12 line up in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Feathard Lady Mares Novice Hurdle, with Elliott’s Brighterdaysahead set to go off favourite as she tries to maintain her unbeaten record in the Grade Three.