Rain a must for Mecca’s Angel to line up in Temple Stakes

Mecca's Angel; impressive at York and is heading to the Abbaye in superb form

Mecca’s Angel: impressive winner of the Nunthorpe Stakes last year

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

AN OVERNIGHT downpour may not be welcomed by some of the contenders for Saturday’s Temple Stakes, but it would be gratefully recieved by connections of favourite Mecca’s Angel.

As short as 6-4 for the Group 2 at Haydock, last season’s Nunthorpe winner is heavily fancied to make a winning reappearance, but ease underfoot is required for the Michael Dods-trained mare to be seen at her best.

While there was nine millimetres of rain overnight on Thursday, the going was still described as good to firm on Friday.

Another ten millimetres could fall on Friday night into Saturday, which would enhance Mecca’s Angel’s chances, but if it fails to materialise Dods will take the five-year-old out.

He said: “If the ground stays as it is she won’t run. If they get the forecast rain early enough for it to soak into the ground she’ll run. She looks well but she’d want her first run of the season and will come on for it.

“It’s difficult to train a horse for a race when you don’t know if the horse will be able to run. You could train her to peak two or three times and never actually run her. For that reason we have to be cautious in her training.”

Rain stay away

By contrast, William Haggas is anxious the skies stay clear for Muthmir. The six-year-old was last seen on Dubai World Cup night, finishing fifth in the Al Quoz Sprint, and has won three times on good to firm ground.

Haggas said: “I’m frightened of the forecast rain. He doesn’t like soft ground but the plan is to go for the King’s Stand and he does need a run beforehand, so he’ll take his chance regardless of the ground. He isn’t cherry ripe, though, and I’m sure he’ll come on for the run.”


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