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Champions Series Stars Back For More: Mabs Cross

8 Mar 2019

We look at which races the leading sprinter might contest this summer.

Mabs Cross fails by the minimum margin in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes. Picture:


Trainer: Michael Dods. Champions Series wins: 0

Since the QIPCO British Champions Series was launched, in 2011, there has yet to be a dead-heat in any of its 280 races.

Many thought one was going to be called after a pulsating Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York last August but after what seemed an eternity the judge determined that Alpha Delphini had prevailed by a nose from Mabs Cross.

Mabs Cross had also been placed in another Champions Series contest, the King’s Stand, when third behind Blue Point and Battaash, at Royal Ascot in June, and nobody could say she did not deserve her triumph in the Group 1 Prix de l’Abbaye on her final start of the year at Paris Longchamp in October.

Mabs Cross has thrived on her racing and she seems bound to again make her presence felt as a five-year-old in all this summer’s top sprints.

The King’s Stand Stakes on June 18 and Nunthorpe Stakes on August 23 again look obvious targets but her connections will also surely be tempted to see what she can do beyond the minimum trip.

Mabs Cross has often looked as if a sixth furlong will suit her – she usually does all her best work at the finish – and her first two career runs, as a three-year-old, were over the trip.  The distance did not look an issue on the second occasion.

The Darley July Cup, at Newmarket on July 13, would look an ideal contest to see if she can be as effective (or even better?) over another furlong.

Depending on how she fares at Headquarters might dictate her path in the latter part of the campaign.

If six furlongs proves within her reach then the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock and QIPCO British Champions Sprint at Ascot will be temptations.

If not, she can stick at five furlongs for the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five at the Curragh and then defend her Abbaye crown.

The start of her season will be stepping stones to the Group 1 showdowns. Last year she won the Group 3 Palace House Stakes at Newmarket before finishing a close fourth in the Group 2 Temple Stakes at Haydock. It will be no surprise if she again runs in both.


May 4: Longholes Palace House Stakes at Newmarket

May 25: Armstrong Aggregate Temple Stakes at Haydock

June 18: King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot

July 13: Darley July Cup at Newmarket

August 23: Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes

September 7: 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock or September 15: Derrinstown Stud Flying Five at the Curragh

October 6: Qatar Prix de l’Abbaye at ParisLongchamp or October 19: QIPCO British Champions Sprint