Royal Ascot 2017 - Ascot Racecourse

Trainer looking for answers after Mecca’s Angel’s Ascot flop

Trainer Michael Dods is still searching for answers after favourite Mecca’s Angel flopped in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot last week, but he believes it could be due to the mare being in season.

The five-year-old was the well fancied for the Group 1 sprint on day one of the Royal Meeting. With the adverse the weather conditions turning the ground at Ascot Racecourse to soft, last season’s Nunthorpe Stakes winner was backed into 6-4.

But under regular jockey Paul Mulrennan she failed to fire on all cylinders and finished ahead of just one other runner as Profitable continued his dream season by winning a maiden Group 1 race. The 12-length defeat left Dods baffled with no conclusive evidence returning from a variety of tests on his stable star.

Dods said, “We tested her thoroughly and could find nothing wrong with her, and though she didn’t show it, I am sure she was in season.”

Now Dods will be targeting the star sprinter at return to the York Ebor Festival and the Nunthorpe Stakes. In 2015 Mecca’s Angel overcame impressive Royal Ascot winner Acapulco in one of the finest performances of the season.

Dods added, “She is fine and although there is a race in Ireland for her next month we might go straight for the Nunthorpe at York.”

Star sprinters including Royal Ascot hero Twilight Son all-set for July Cup

The Darley July Cup one of the best sprint contests of the season could be set for a vintage year with the last two winners of Royal Ascot’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes set to line-up.

2015 Diamond Jubilee Stakes hero Undrafted was beaten by just three-lengths in the 2016 renewal as Twilight Son showed that he is the class horse that everyone suspected he was. The Wesley Ward star will be hoping to take the July Cup back to the USA.

Trained by Henry Candy, Twilight Son, has been well backed since his Royal Ascot success and is currently priced at 9-2 for the Group 1 Newmarket event on July 9. Magical Memory finished fourth in Diamond Jubilee and has also been well supported for the thrilling race.

Another exciting addition to the field is the Hugo Palmer-trained Home Of The Brave who will have his first run at six-furlongs since his three-year-old campaign. After taking the Group 3 Jury Stakes at Haydock his trainer is excited about dropping his star back in trip.

Palmer said, “I’m very excited about the prospect of trying Home Of The Brave over six furlongs for the first time since his excellent run in last year’s Group 1 Commonwealth Cup.”

Other potential entrants include Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Mongolian Saturday, Limato and Commonwealth Cup winner Quiet Reflection.

A thrilling race in-store.

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