Top jockey with tips from the horse’s mouth

The Racing Paper - - Front Page - PAUL MULRENNAN

Iwas dis­ap­pointed to miss out on the win­ning ride on Mabs Cross at ParisLongchamp last week­end, but de­lighted for the team who have man­aged this filly so bril­liantly.

To keep a filly on the go all sea­son, and at the top of her game, is some achieve­ment, and credit to Michael and Carol Dods and all the staff in­volved.

Re­mem­ber she started her sea­son at Bath back in April and hasn’t fin­ished out of the first four in her seven runs. Along the way, she’s won the Palace House Stakes, fin­ished third in the King’s Stand, and was touched off by a nose in the Nun­thorpe.

Her win in the Prix de l’Ab­baye was sweet com­pen­sa­tion for what hap­pened at York, es­pe­cially for owner David Arm­strong, and what makes it even sweeter is that he bred the filly too.

She’s shown she can go on any ground and is as tough as they come. She’s also im­proved as she’s gone along this sea­son. It looked like she might need six fur­longs but she’s learned to break quicker and not get so out­paced early on.

The re­ally pos­i­tive thing for me is that I think she can be an even bet­ter filly next year.

I think you should treat this sport as a marathon, not a sprint, so you need to see the big­ger pic­ture and I have tried not to get frus­trated by spend­ing time on the side-lines in­jured. You just have to ac­cept that it’s part of the game and your time will come again.

While I re­flect on Mabs Cross, it’s worth high­light­ing what an amaz­ing job Michael does with these sprint­ing fil­lies. In­tense Cross has shown in­cred­i­ble im­prove­ment this sea­son to end up win­ning a Listed race last week­end, and you also can point to Mecca’s An­gel and East­ern An­gel.

I have made no se­cret of how highly I re­gard James Doyle and I think he rode a good race on Sea Of Class in the Arc. They were killed by the draw and he had no choice but to drop her out and switch her off. To get her as close to win­ning as he did was some achieve­ment. It just shows how im­por­tant the luck of the draw can be.

The prospect of a re­match be­tween her and the win­ner En­able will be some­thing to savour next sea­son.

One of the big hand­i­caps of the sea­son, the Dubai £500,000 Ce­sare­witch Stakes, is staged at New­mar­ket to­day and Stra­tum gets my vote.

Wil­lie Mullins’ stayer was backed like de­feat was out of the ques­tion in the Ebor at York, but he was badly ham­pered and never got a look-in. I think this step back up in trip and eas­ier ground will all play into his hands and he can give Tony Bloom back-to-back wins af­ter With­hold last year.

Michael sad­dles Kings Gift in the Down­load The Coral App Hand­i­cap at York and he looks a big price at 20-1. The eas­ier ground will be to his lik­ing and he could eas­ily be placed.

Dave Dex­ter is an­other who will love the ground and is im­prov­ing and can win in the Rock­ing­ham Stakes, while I’d side with Per­fect Pas­ture in the Coral Sprint Tro­phy Hand­i­cap.

Paul will be a spe­cial guest on Luck on Sun­day on Rac­ing UK to­mor­row. The pop­u­lar show, hosted by Nick Luck, re­turns for a sec­ond se­ries, un­der the spon­sor­ship of Al Basti Equi­world. Paul is joined by Ger­ald Mosse, Gra­ham Bradley and James Wil­loughby.

Bet­ter next year: Mabs Cross will im­prove

Credit: Michael Dods

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