Mabs Cross given Temple option ahead of planned Ascot date

Michael Dods’ runner could enjoy another prep run at Haydock

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Mabs Cross could take in the Armstrong Aggregates Temple Stakes ahead of the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Michael Dods’ star sprinter is among 21 entries for the Group Two dash over five furlongs at Haydock on May 25, sponsored by her owner David Armstrong.

Fourth behind Battaash on Merseyside last year, Mabs Cross had her finest hour in the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp last October and defied a 4lb penalty when making a successful seasonal reappearance in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket.

Her trainer Michael Dods has also made an entry for Intense Romance, another five-year-old mare who won a handicap over the course and distance last year before going on to Listed wins at Ayr and Ascot.

“Royal Ascot is the priority, but the Temple Stakes is sponsored by the Armstrong Group. As long as we feel she is A1, there is every possibility she could go to Haydock,” said Dods.

“She has come out of Newmarket very well. She is a tough horse and takes her racing very well. We are very pleased with her.

“Her priorities this year will again be Royal Ascot, York and France, but if she is ready and right, we will look at having a go at the Temple.”

The County Durham handler has entered Intense Romance, but her participation is very much dependent on the ground.

“Intense Romance is a proper heavy ground horse,” said Dods.

“For us to think of Haydock for her, we would need to see proper soft ground. With the way the weather is at the moment, you never know so we gave her an entry.”

Charlie Hill’s Battaash could try to defend his crown while Tom Dascombe’s Kachy, who finished third 12 months ago, has been in brilliant form on the all-weather.

Six of the seven Irish possibles hail from the Aidan O’Brien stable. They are Sergei Prokofiev, Gossamer Wings, All The King’s Men, San Andreas, The Irish Rover and Fantasy.

The other Irish entry is Fozzy Stack’s Son Of Rest, who dead-heated in the Ayr Gold Cup while Bakoel Koffie represents French trainer Mauricio Delcher Sanchez.

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