Princess Zoe completed a two-week hat-trick with a clear-cut triumph in the valuable Galway Shopping Centre Premier Handicap.
The German import began her winning streak on just her second start for Tony Mullins in the Ladies Derby at the Curragh on July 18 and then won a premier handicap on Galway’s opening card on Monday.
The five-year-old mare continued her rich vein of form as she came with a pulsating run from the home turn to lift the €75,000 event in handsome fashion.
Pearl Warrior led into the straight but gave way to Emperor Of The Sun, who had every chance until Princess Zoe (2-1 favourite) emerged on the scene.
She went on in the final furlong and held her determined challenger by half a length in the hands of 5lb claimer Joey Sheridan, to have Mullins dreaming of a possible Group One raid in France.
“We’re thinking of the Cesarewitch at Newmarket, but we’re also now going to have to consider the Prix du Cadran,” said Mullins.
“That’s over two miles five and it’s a Group One and she has a nice pedigree. It’s just a word of warning in case anyone is going backing her ante-post (for the Cesarewitch). The Prix du Cadran has come on the agenda.
“She won’t run in the meantime and of course Paddy (Kehoe, owner) has her backed for the (mares’) novice hurdle in Cheltenham.”
Apprentice Gavin Ryan may have just missed out on Emperor Of The Sun in the feature but he managed to chalk up a double on The Rain King and Sirjack Thomas.
The brace was initiated by the Donnacha O’Brien-trained The Rain King (15-8 favourite), who got off the mark at the third attempt in the Gloriously Simple With MansionBet Maiden.
“He had a good run at Naas, but he was a bit disappointing at the Curragh,” said O’Brien. “Today was a wonderful opportunity and he did it well.
“He bends his knee so the ground was no harm and it spreads them out in a maiden like that anyway.
“We’ll see what the handicapper does. If he’s too high he could go for a stakes race.”
Ryan left it late after suffering interference as Sirjack Thomas (11-2) got up close home to beat Annexation by half a length in the O’Leary Insurances Handicap.
“Gavin said he got hampered – he got a bang. He won nicely though,” said winning trainer Ado McGuinness.
“He’s a funny horse. We thought he wanted good ground, but it’s not looking like it.
“Last year he won on soft ground in Sligo. He was working very well – he worked with Saltonstall last week and it was a cracking piece of work.
“He’s a nice horse. We’ll go hurdling with him at some stage later on in the year and he might go back and have another whack somewhere else on the Flat and see what happens.”
Shane Foley got in on the double act with wins on Lighting Jock (16-1) for Paddy Hayes in the Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Maiden and on Dark Voyager (13-8 favourite), Willie Mullins’ only runner of the day in the McDonogh Capital Investments Handicap.