A year after winning a modest handicap at Windsor, off a mark of 74, Mabs Cross found herself in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot up against the best five-furlong performers in the world.
It says much for her progression in the intervening 12 months that she should finish an excellent third to Blue Point – typically keeping on well at the finish. In another stride or two, she would have deprived Battaash of second.
Trainer Michael Dods said: “Maybe we’ve dropped a clanger because we haven’t got her in the July Cup; we might have to think about that. But obviously the Nunthorpe will the next target unless we decide to get into the July Cup at a later stage.
“I do think she is still improving – they opened up to the fourth horse. It was a big step up but every time we have asked her to step up, she has answered. I’m delighted with her.”
The homebred Mabs Cross had previously finished a close fourth to Battaash in the Temple Stakes at Haydock, having won the Group 3 Palace House Stakes at Newmarket.
Last season she reeled off four successive victories and, having had only ten starts, still seems on the up.