Leading sprinter Mabs Cross made a winning return to action when getting up near the line to beat Equilateral by a neck in the Group 3 Zoustar Palace House Stakes at Newmarket. The Michael Dods-trained mare also won the race in 2018 before going on to Group 1 success in France.
Paul Mulrennan was in the saddle, as he was when the daughter of Dutch Art (by Medicean) beat Judicial by a neck in the 2018 edition of the race. That rival finished only seventh this time around.
Today's runner-up, a Charles Hills-trained son of Equiano, came there cruising with over a furlong to run and was only headed near the line. He was in receipt of weight from the winner, who had a Group 1 penalty, but looks capable of picking up pattern-race compensation before long.
The Kevin Ryan-trained Major Jumbo was another one and three-quarter lengths back in third with a further half-length back to the three-year-old and race favourite Sergei Prokofiev, representing the Aidan O'Brien team.
Mabs Cross is an early June foal, she was bred by Highfield Farm Llp and made just £3,000 as a yearling at the DBS November (Yearlings & Horses-in-Training) Sale in 2015. Her siblings include multiple sprint winner Eccleston (by Acclamation) and the talented filly Charlie Em (by Kheleyf) whose best win came in the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes over a mile at Hollywood Park in 2013.
Miss Meggy (by Pivotal), her dam, won the Listed Hilary Needler Trophy over five furlongs at Beverley as a juvenile and was later successful over a quarter-mile farther, and she is the best of several winners out of Selkirk Rose (by Pips Pride) who won over five furlongs at Carlisle and over six at Nottingham.
Mabs Cross, whom Timeform rated 118 last year, holds entries in the Group 2 Armstrong Aggregates Temple Stakes at Haydock and Group 1 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. She is an admirable performer, should play a prominent part in the best five-furlong events of the year, and it will be fascinating to see how she eventually fares as a broodmare.
Her sire is a classic and July Cup-placed dual Group 1 star whose 34 stakes winners also include the Group 1 sprint stars Slade Power and Garswood, and like both the latter and his now-deceased sire Medicean (by Machiavellian), he is a member of the team at Cheveley Park Stud.
Sires & Winners