Royal Ascot 2016: Angel to fly home in King’s Stand Stakes
David Metcalf | June 13, 2016
Mecca’s Angel looks heavenly in King’s Stand Stakes
Mecca’s Angel lost little in defeat when runner-up on seasonal reappearance and, with underfoot conditions in her favour, can confirm herself one of the best sprinters in training by landing the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes over the flying 5f at Royal Ascot (15.40).
The Michael Dods trained mare has a tremendous strike rate having won seven of her 14 starts, and has also finished placed on four occasions.
In the last of those successes, Mecca’s Angel posted a career best performance when landing the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York on good-to-soft ground in sensational style.
After showing bags of early pace in a race run at a searching gallop, the five-year-old was ridden to chase the trail-blazing clear leader Acapulco a furlong from home, before showing a smart turn of foot to mow down that rival and win going away by two lengths.
Awesome display of speed and power
It was an awesome display of speed and power, and Mecca’s Angel has nothing to fear from the re-opposing runner-up, who she now meets on much more advantageous terms.
Although turned over in the Group 2 Temple Stakes on return to action at Haydock last month when sent off a short-priced favourite, the daughter of Dark Angel went down fighting to be beaten just a neck by Profitable.
It was a fine effort against a race-fit rival following 274 days on the sidelines, and Mecca’s Angel is sure to come on a bundle for the outing.
Mecca’s Angel will also relish every drop of rain that has hit the Berkshire venue, and on her Nunthorpe success is the one to beat.
Profitable commands plenty of respect
Profitable has a progressive profile and looks sure to go well. The Clive Cox trained colt has shown improved form to win both his starts this season, landing the Group 3 Palace House Stakes at Newmarket before taking the scalp of Mecca’s Angel in the Temple Stakes.
Profitable idled when hitting the front in the latter and veered left, and jockey Adam Kirby felt he scored with more in hand than the winning margin suggests.
I am not convinced that was the case, and the four-year-old went into the race with the benefit of a run under his belt.
Race fitness may well have won him the day, and connections believe Profitable will be seen to best effect on quick ground.
The son of Invincible Spirit isn’t going to get that, but is clearly going the right way and commands plenty of respect.
Acapulco a big player under Moore
Acapulco produced a devastating display of speed and strength when landing the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes at the meeting 12 months ago in the hands of Ryan Moore, and put in a fine effort for a two-year-old when chasing home Mecca’s Angel in Nunthorpe.
Trained in America by Wes Ward, Acapulco has easily won both her starts this season and is all speed and ideally suited by the minimum trip.
The daughter of Scat Daddy will attempt to burn off her rivals, and once again has the services of Moore in the saddle.
However, she has work to do to turn around the Nunthorpe form with Mecca’s Angel and I can’t help but feel that Acapulco will once again find that rival too strong in the closing stages.
Coral’s top tip: Mecca’s Angel has the strongest form in the book and with ground conditions in her favour rates a solid bet to get back to winning ways. Acapulco and Profitable can chase her home.