Mecca’s Angel storms clear to retain Nunthorpe crown

Mecca's Angel bursts clear to win the Nunthorpe

PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos) Angel storms clear to retain Nunthorpe crown
By Alex Wiltshire 3:37PM 19 AUG 2016

Report: York, Friday

Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (Group 1), 5f, 2yo+

MECCA'S ANGEL stormed clear of the field to make it back-to-back wins in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, becoming the first filly to win the Nunthorpe Stakes twice.

Well-backed 2-1 favourite Limato, stepping down in trip to five furlongs for the first time, could not get near to the Michael Dods-trained filly, who quashed fears of rain to win by two lengths.

Mecca's Angel had bounced back from a disappointing effort at Royal Ascot with a win in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh and she emphatically underlined her status as a top-classs sprinter with this decisive victory.

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It was a popular win for northern trainer Michael Dods, who was confident in his filly's ability to win the race. "She's done that easily, he said. "She's some horse.

"I said to Paul (Mulrennan, jockey): 'Forget about the others and ride your own race. Keep it simple – you know what she can do'."

The success of Mecca's Angel has elevated the career of Paul Mulrennan, and he expressed his delight at the win. "She's given me my first two Group 1 wins and it's great for everyone involved," he said.

"The team at home do all the work – I just have to point her. She travelled through the race like a dream."

'Fantastic run'

Henry Candy was proud of the performance his Limato produced against a top-class filly. He said: "It was a fantastic run. She's a specialist at this distance and we're not.

"The main hope we had was that the ground stayed fast and was unsuitable for her and in our favour, but you can't really think like that. It was an incredibly quick time for rain-softened ground and I think he's run just as well as Newmarket, but he's not an absolute five furlong horse."

Future targets

Mecca's Angel has a host of options open to her before she embarks upon a career as a broodmare at the end of the season. However, Dods revealed that the Qipco Champion Sprint Stakes is a race he would be keen on targeting.

Mecca's Angel is a top price of 9-2 (from 7-1) with William Hill to win the big sprint prize on Champions Day, which would be her first start over six furlongs since October 2013.

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