Royal-Oak Preview: Girls on the run

24 October 2020

Royal-Oak Preview: Girls on the run


One of the main attractions of the 131st edition of the Prix Royal-Oak (Gr1), Sunday at ParisLongchamp (the last meeting of the year at the Bois de Boulogne is scheduled for Thursday, October 29), is the challenge launched by two females, the French filly Valia (Sea the Stars) and the German-turned-Irish mare Princess Zoe (Jukebox Jury). The two lit up the weekend at the Arc, winning the Qatar Prix Chaudenay (Gr3) with flying colours for one and resolve for the other in the Qatar Prix du Cadran (Gr1). Over the short 2-miler that is the 3,100m Prix Royal-Oak, they will face new and tough campaigners, such as the old Holdthasigreen (Hold That Tiger), back two years after his 2018 victory, and more recently third in the 2019 renewal.


  • 1. LIBELLO (h7, IRE by Archipenko and Scarlet’s Pride, by Singspiel) Weight: 9-4 / Rating: 96lbs

Trained at Chantilly by Cédric Boutin, he found his way in conditions races and manages to take places here and there at a good level, and for example when third in the Prix de Barbeville (Gr3), a length behind Holdthasigreen in May in Deauville. He has been away since June.

  • 2. HOOKING (g4, GB by Lope de Vega and Quanzhou, by Dansili) Weight: 9-4 / Rating: 79lbs

Trained near Lyon by Philippe Decouz, he has just won a handicap over 1m2f with a 71lbs tag, which earned him a penalty of 8lbs. Here he is competing in his first race over more than 1m4f, a distance over which he has failed twice.

  • 3. HOLDTHASIGREEN (g8, FRA by Hold that Tiger and Greentathir, by Muhtathir) Weight: 9-4 / Rating: 104lbs

Trained in the Sarthe by Bruno Audouin, he won this race in 2018 and finished third in 2019. Usually a front-runner, he has been away since a third place in a Listed race, shortly before the Arc weekend, which he therefore avoided.

  • 4. MISTER NINO (g4, FRA by Magician and Desideria, by Desert Party) Weight: 9-4 / Rating: 105lbs

Trained at Chantilly by Pascal Bary, he has three victories to his credit and has just finished second in a Listed race at Saint-Cloud over 1m6f, beating Holdthasigreen.

  • 5. GET SHIRTY (g4, IRE by Teofilo and Soccer Mom, by Monsun) Weight: 9-4 / Rating: 105lbs

Trained at La Teste-de-Buch by Christophe Ferland, he climbed the scales in handicaps before taking the third place in the Prix Vicomtesse Vigier (Gr2) and then winning in the Prix du Carrousel (L). On the other hand, he ran rather flat in the Prix Gladiateur (Gr3) last September…

  • 6. PRINCESS ZOE (f5, GER by Jukebox Jury and Palace Princess, by Tiger Hill) Weight: 8-10 / Rating: 108lbs

Trained in Ireland by Anthony Mullins, this mare from Germany rose through the ranks this summer until she bravely won at the end of the 2m4f Qatar Prix du Cadran (Gr1). She comes back here for a little shorter trip ...

  • 7. SUBJECTIVIST (c3, GB by Teofilo and Reckoning, by Danehill Dancer) Weight: 8-10 / Rating: 109lbs

Trained in England by Mark Johnston, sold for £ 62,000 at the Newmarket sales, he won at 2 and was second in a Listed race, then progressed at 3 to win a Listed in Germany, placing himself at Group 3 level at Goodwood, then winning a Group 3 over 1m6f before disappointing again in the Leger. He had also failed in the Great Voltigeur Stakes (Gr2) this summer at York.

  • 8. VALIA (f3, FRA by Sea the Stars and Veda, by Dansili) Weight: 8-7 / Rating: 107lbs

Trained at Chantilly by Alain de Royer Dupré, bred by her owner, she brilliantly won the Qatar Prix Chaudenay (Gr3) against the males on this course and distance and is now tackling other older horses.