Dods hopeful Mabs Cross can emulate former stable-star

The Michael Dods-trained Mecca’s Angel to win back-to-back renewals of the Nunthorpe in 2015-16

Trainer Michael Dods is anticipating that Mabs Cross can follow in the hoofprints of his former sprint star Mecca’s Angel at York next Friday (August 24).

Dods trained the outstanding Mecca’s Angel to win back-to-back renewals of the G1 Coolmore Nunthorpe in 2015 and 2016. Now the County Durham-based handler has another speedy filly on his hands, in the shape of the David Armstrong-owne Mabs Cross, to chase the £350,000 prize money pot.

The 4-year-old Dutch Art filly burst to prominence with a G3 victory at Newmarket in May. She ran an even bigger race next, finishing third to Blue Point in the G1 King’s Stand at Royal Ascot. Her last start was at G2 level when she was third at the Curragh last month.

It’s next stop the Knavesmire, though Dods knows his charge will have her work cut out if she is to get close to the brilliant Battaash, who won a G2 at Glorious Goodwood earlier this month.

Dods said: “The Nunthorpe is a tough race with the likes of Battaash in, but the plan is to run Mabs Cross anyway. We could do with a bit of cut in the ground, hopefully, to slow Battaash up a bit! But the way he won at Goodwood he was so impressive. He’s undoubtedly a top-class sprinter.

“But Mabs Cross is on track. We’re happy with her and she’s in good form. She’ll do a bit of work on Saturday and that will probably be it. “I’m very lucky to have her. She has run well this season. In Ireland the last time there wasn’t enough pace on for her to be honest. But she still ran well.

“Mecca’s Angel was a different type. She was speed. This filly, she sort of needs a fast pace to aim at, but she hasn’t got the natural early speed that Mecca’s Angel had. A bit slower ground would help her because it would slow those speed horses up. But she is improving, so we’ll see where we get to.”

The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival runs for four days: from Wednesday, August 22 to August 25.

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