Broome digs in for Alleged success

Broome had to work hard to justify odds-on favouritism in the Holden Plant Rentals Alleged Stakes at the Curragh.

Aidan O’Brien’s charge had looked smart in 2019, winning two Classic trials before finishing a close fourth in the Derby at Epsom, but he subsequently lost his way before returning to winning form on his comeback at Naas last month.

Sent off the 1-2 market leader on the back of that run, Broome was slowly away, with Ryan Moore pushing him up early to sit in fifth as Numerian set the early pace.

Broome looked in a perfect position to challenge, but Moore was having to get to work on the turn for home and had ground to make up on the frontrunners with two furlongs to run.

It looked as though Thundering Nights had produced a winning effort when she collared Up Helly Aa at the furlong pole – but Moore was not giving up on Broome, who responded to his every urging to poke his head in front just strides from the post.

Broome eventually prevailed by half a length, with Up Helly Aa hanging on to third, a further two and three-quarter lengths adrift.

Betfair make Broome a 12-1 chance for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, but O’Brien is eyeing a switch back up to 12 furlongs from a mile and a quarter.

He said: “He’s a lovely horse and will probably love going back up to a mile and a half.

“It was nice that he didn’t have to make the running, and Ryan was very happy with him.

“He can have a look at races like the Coronation (Cup) and the Tattersalls (Gold Cup).”

Trainer and jockey were completing a quick Group Three double after the Gladness Stakes victory of Lancaster House.

Following Broome’s success, O’Brien added: “Ryan felt the pace was nice early and then dropped in the middle of the race.

“He had to work a bit harder than if the pace was consistent over a mile and a quarter. He’s brave.”

Mullins plots middle-distance path for Princess Zoe

Princess Zoe may start her 2021 campaign in the Alleged Stakes at the Curragh in April.

Trainer Tony Mullins is thinking of dropping his Group One-winning stayer down to a mile and a quarter, because he believes she does not need extreme distances to bring out her best.

Princess Zoe made remarkable progress last year, winning five races in a row culminating in the Group One Prix du Cadran over two and a half miles at ParisLongchamp – twice the distance of the Alleged Stakes.

However, Mullins is keen to see how she performs at middle distances.

“We’re looking at the Alleged Stakes,” the Gowran trainer said in an interview posted on his Twitter account.

“It’s only a mile and a quarter. I don’t know if it’s a winnable distance for her at that level, but we’re going to try it.

“I have always been adamant that she’s as good at a mile and a half as she is at two and a half – so we’re going to set about proving it. If we’re wrong we’ll switch back and use distance races, but her work has shown me she is a Group filly at a mile and a half – and we intend to prove it to the public.”

Princess Zoe was last seen in October, when her winning run ended with honourable defeat over just short of two miles as she tried to double her Group One tally in the Prix Royal-Oak at ParisLongchamp.

Preparation for the grey mare’s six-year-old campaign is under way, however.

“She’s done loads of slow work in very soft ground and will probably go away now,” added Mullins.

“Jim Bolger very kindly lets us work in his place so she might go there or up the Old Vic on the Curragh and then we’ll decide the next move after the first piece of work.”