Mecca’s Angel wins second successive Nunthorpe Stakes at York
WINNER: Mecca’s Angel ridden by Paul Mulrennan
The speediest mare in training over five furlongs was simply too fast for top six-furlong horses like the favourite Limato.
Her time was close to the track record and arguably a career-best performance.
Winning jockey Paul Mulrennan was certainly impressed. He said: “She’s not complicated, I just point her in the right direction and she takes off – she’s like an aeroplane.
”She’s given me my first two Group Ones. She’s very special to me.”
Mecca’s Angel’s trainer Michael Dods, who bought her for 16,000gns as a yearling, had had a sleepless night ahead of the race owing to the ground. He was satisfied, though, when he walked the course prior to racing.
”I was concerned that the rain wouldn’t come in time,” he said: ”She’s not at her best on good to firm but on good ground has extra gears.
”She had the race won two out. She’s fantastic.”
Henry Candy, trainer of Limato, was not despondent in defeat, admitting that taking on the best over five was ‘an experiment’.
”I don’t think he was as good as in the July Cup at Newmarket but Mecca’s Angel is a brilliant filly,” he said.
”The ground will dictate where and when he races next as he prefers it fast – it was too soft at Ascot in the Gold Cup.
”The stayers’ race in Dubai (in March) is a possibility.”
Jamie Spencer kept up his winner-a-day strike rate at the Ebor meeting with a third victory from off the pace on Nemoralia in the Sky Bet City Of York Stakes.
Winning trainer Jeremy Noseda, in contrast, has been in the doldrums. The Group Three race was only his 13th success of the year.
”Nemoralia is a lovely filly to have around and does everything asked of her,” said the Newmarket trainer. ”She’s had some tough tasks at Royal Ascot and Chantilly and was entitled to win this.”
Roger Varian said after Postponed’s Group One win on Wednesday that his stable would be worth following for the rest of the season.
His Barsanti was duly well backed for the opening handicap and won under stable jockey Andrea Atzeni, despite having top weight.
”He worked with Postponed 10 days ago and that brought him on a lot,” said Varian. ”It’s hard to give weight to the field in handicaps here but dropping him back to 12-furlongs helped. He was in the Ebor but this race made more sense for him.
”We’re not a one-horse yard and it was important for Barsanti to win and show that. We’ve got plenty to run now but you probably won’t see Barsanti again.
”He has been on the go since February and not finished out of the first three. He has done enough for the season and will be a nice horse for next year.”