As rain arrived from the west to dampen the scene on the Knavesmire, the sting was taken out of the ground providing no excuses for the runners in this year’s warm renewal of the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes. The weather came just in time for last year’s winner Mecca’s Angel who was to repeat the dose in spectacular fashion on day three of York’s Ebor festival.
The David Griffiths-trained Take Cover displayed his typical speed from the gate taking the lead alongside outsider Thesme, the duo scorching the trail towards the far side.
Owner David Metcalfe’s prized mare Mecca’s Angel travelled noticeably well throughout just in behind the leaders, tracked by July Cup winner Limato and the Kevin Ryan-trained Brando.
Paul Mulrennan pushed the button within the final two furlongs and the duo were not for catching on the run to the line, securing a comfortable two-length winning margin from favourite Limato.
The Ealing-born rider had his finest day in the saddle 12 months ago in the very same race aboard his flagship five-year-old mare. The pair have crossed the winning line in front on no fewer than nine occasions and for Mulrennan he tastes success at the highest level for only a second time.
“She’s just a very special filly she’s an aeroplane,” reflected Mulrennan. “That was probably her best performance. I would love to say she’s complicated and I had to do this and that but I just point her.”
The Michael Dods-trained charge disappointed on her second start this season in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot but bounced back to form last time out in the Group 3 Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh, beating another of today’s rivals Brando.
For Dods who also fielded the Al Shaqab-owned Easton Angel in the contest, his stable star becomes the first horse to repeat the feat since the Robin Bastiman-trained Borderlescott, who did so between 2008 and 2009.
Dods said: “I had a sleepless night because I knew they weren’t going to put any water on.
“I spoke to the jockeys after the first and walked the track again. I said by the time she runs it will be good ground I’m happy to let her run and this is the ground she wants, she doesn’t want it soft and on good ground she’s got another two gears.”
Earlier in the afternoon, the Roger Charlton-trained Quest For More made all the running to win the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup for owner Sultan Ahmad Shah.
I would love to say she’s complicated and I had to do this and that but I just point her
The six-year-old strung the field out from the front at what looked a decent pace under George Baker. Although appearing vulnerable in the final furlong as runner-up Pallasator and Irish challenger Wicklow Brave closed onto his quarters, the son of Teofilo found extra to score by three-and-a-half lengths.
A profitable week for Jamie Spencer continued as he rode his third Group victory of the week aboard Nemoralia in the Group 3 Sky Bet City of York Stakes.
The three-year-old daughter of More Than Ready was held up off a strong pace and was delivered with a steady challenge to the far side in the final furlong and a half to win readily by just over a length from So Beloved and Jallota.
Jeremy Noseda’s filly secures her first success at Group level after disappointing last month in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly.