Michael Dods hopes the return to a stiffer track will help Mabs Cross turn the tables on Battaash when the two meet again at Royal Ascot – and a step up to six furlongs later in the season has been mooted.
Having started her season with a win over Charlie Hills’ Equilateral at Newmarket, the Prix de l’Abbaye winner had no answer to his stablemate Battaash in the Temple Stakes at Haydock.
Dods felt her Group One penalty made life difficult and that on a level playing field in the King’s Stand she may be able to exact her revenge.
“She’s a little bit tender on a hind foot where she pulled a shoe off – but apart from that she’s fine,” said Dods.
“I thought she ran a great race. The ground was plenty quick enough, to be honest – and because of that, they went quick and didn’t stop.
“On his day Battaash is nigh on unbeatable. I’ve seen nothing to beat him on his day, but he doesn’t always have his day. I did think he looked tremendous on Saturday, though – he looked really well and he’s a very good horse.
“At Ascot and Newmarket there’s a hill, and she finishes strong, so it suits her – she just struggles to tag on at Haydock. Paul (Mulrennan) said at one point he looked over, and Jim Crowley took a pull – and he was going flat out.
“I was very impressed with the winner, but we still ran well and we’ll have the rematch at Ascot when we’ll be 5lb better off on a stiffer track. There are other top-class horse as well, though, in Alpha Delphini and Blue Point.
“A bit of juice would help us – which we should get, with it being the first day (of the meeting), and we discussed after the race trying her over six furlongs.
“But she’s doing so well at five it’s hard to alter anything. I think we’ll try her over six at some stage.”