Trainer Michael Dods has signalled his intention to go straight to next month’s Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York with Mabs Cross.
The Dutch Art mare ended last season with a breakthrough Group One win via the Prix De L’Abbaye at Longchamp, having previously been agonisingly touched off by Alpha Delphini in the Nunthorpe.
She reappeared with a gutsy success in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket in May, typically powering home late in the piece to edge out Equilateral in the Group Three sprint. Since then she has come up short against the likes of Battaash and Blue Point in high-class sprints at Haydock and Royal Ascot.
Connections were considering a run in the Summer Stakes on the Knavesmire this week but Dods has now confirmed that race is off the agenda. Instead, Mabs Cross is being aimed at York’s showpiece meeting next month and a second tilt at glory in the Nunthorpe.
“I’ve discussed it with [owner] David Armstrong, and we’ve decided we didn’t really want to drop into a Group Three,” Dods told Racing TV of the decision to bypass he Summer Stakes.
“We’ll probably leave her now and go straight for the Nunthorpe.” Having finished an honourable fourth to the now-retired Blue Point in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, Dods reports the mare to be in good shape, with the second half of the season to look forward to.
“I’d like to have her fresh and well, and I just think that bit of extra time means we will have her spot on,” he added. “She’s come out of Ascot well, and we’re looking forward to the rest of the season.”