Mecca’s Angel won last year’s Nunthorpe but could miss out this time
PICTURE: Getty Images
By Mark Scully 11:40AM 16 AUG 2016
MICHAEL DODS will wait until Friday before making a decision on the participation of Mecca’s Angel in that day’s Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York.
The trainer walked the course on Monday evening but did not make a final decision on whether last year’s winner will bid to defend her crown, instead opting to take another look on the morning of the race.
Dods agrees with the current going description of good to firm, with Mecca’s Angel having sidestepped any such ground since her sole defeat on it at Redcar in October 2013.
“I thought the course was in great order, it looks tremendous, and it really depends what happens between now and the end of the week – I just wanted to see where it was at,” said Dods.
“It’s good to firm basically and I’ll walk it again on Friday and decide then after we see what the weather does.
“I couldn’t say what I’d do if I had to decide now but what I would say is that the ground, in my opinion, didn’t look as quick as Ascot did last year when I took her out [of the King’s Stand Stakes].
“When I took her out at Ascot that day, I thought that was the quickest ground I saw last year and I do look at a lot of ground.”
Others ‘in a better position’
Mecca’s Angel bounced back from a poor showing in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in June with victory in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh last month and Dods says the five-year-old is in good order.
While he may yet allow her to take her chance on Friday, he admits there are others in the field better suited by the conditions as they stand.
“It’s a tough race, especially with Limato coming in,” he said.
“What will benefit other horses, like Goldream and some of the others who want this sort of ground, won’t benefit us so they’re in a better position than we are at this stage but that’s racing.”