Michael Dods may yet let Mabs Cross run at Ascot on Champions Day – after she has first defended her Prix de l’Abbaye title.
Dods has always been tempted to run the mare over six furlongs – but given her excellent form at five, he has been reluctant to change.
With retirement looming for Mabs Cross at the end of the season, however, he is contemplating giving her the opportunity after a luckless trip to Ireland when sixth in last weekend’s Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh.
Dods said: “It would be lovely to see her over six, but the situations with the races we were always going for haven’t allowed it. We’ve always felt she’d get six.
“She lost a shoe in Ireland, which wouldn’t have helped.
“We’ve still got the Abbaye on the agenda, and possibly the six furlongs at Ascot.
“She’s just been hitting top gear too late this season. She needed every bit of the trip when she won at Newmarket, and since then she’s got going too late.
“Hopefully she’ll come to herself in France again. She’s come out of the race well and seems happy.”
Possibly the heir to her throne at Dods’ County Durham yard is Queens Gift, second to Equilateral at Doncaster recently.
“It was a step up for her,” he said.
“She’d run well in the Beverley Bullet, and then to go and do that was great. We looked at the Ayr races on Friday and Saturday, but then we decided we’d wait for the Listed race (Rous Stakes) at Ascot (October 5).
“If it’s fast ground that will suit. We just wanted to give her longer between her races. I’m sure she’ll improve next year, because she’s improved out of all recognition.
“We always thought she wanted six furlongs. But we wouldn’t contemplate running her over six at the minute – she’s speeded up a lot.
“The only bad race she’s run all season was on soft at York.”