Dods delight as his Angel sprouts wings at York
Mecca's Angel became a rare back-to-back winner of the Nunthorpe Stakes with a scorching display of top-class sprinting at York yesterday.
Michael Dods' gutsy mare will retire at the end of the year and has been a horse to truly cherish. This was a far more visually dominant performance than 12 months ago, when she was the only runner to emerge from the pack and catch the juvenile thunderbolt Acapulco.
Mecca's Angel (9/2) simply took a smart field apart once Paul Mulrennan issued the command with two furlongs left, and the official record of a two-length defeat of Limato does not quite do her justice.
"I think she's back," said Dods, who had found her to be in-season after a poor run at Royal Ascot. "We were about half an hour from the course when it started raining and after I'd walked the course twice, I was happy. Everyone thinks she has to have soft but she doesn't. It just has to be good. It's great for us and for the north. Words can't describe it."
Dods will now look at the Prix de l'Abbaye at Longchamp and is tempted to try the five-year-old at six furlongs on British Champions Day before she goes through the ring as a broodmare.
The 15/8 favourite Limato was dropping back in trip after winning the July Cup over six furlongs and gave vain chase, finishing the same margin ahead of Take Cover.
"They've run an incredibly quick time on rain-softened ground," said Limato's trainer Henry Candy. "I think he's run just as well as at Newmarket. We're not a specialist at five furlongs and Mecca's Angel is. I wouldn't be surprised if we left him for the Breeders' Cup now, possibly the Turf Sprint."
Another bound for events in America is Jermey Noseda's Nemoralia (15/8), an impressive winner under Jamie Spencer in the City Of York Stakes .
George Baker deserved much of the credit in the Lonsdale Cup for a polished display of front-running aboard Roger Charlton's Quest For More.
For much of the home straight, the Willie Mullins-trained Wicklow Brave looked the likely winner, but Pat Smullen's mount failed to quicken and faded into third as Quest For More gamely held off Pallasator by three and a half lengths.