Not only did it move the Yorkshire-based jockey ever nearer a landmark 1,000th career success – he’s now on the 991-winner mark – but, more importantly, Mabs Cross confirmed her status as one of Europe’s top sprinters.
And it provided Mulrennan with some recompense after a triple back fracture – the result of a freak fall on the gallops last summer – meant he was on the injury sidelines when the horse won the Group One Prix de l’Abbaye at Paris Longchamp after a narrow loss to Alpha Delphini in York’s Nunthorpe Stakes.
Trained at Darlington by Michael Dods, Mabs Cross will now contest most of this summer’s top sprints after conceding seven pounds to her 10 rivals in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket.
She got up on the line to deny Equilateral by a neck to repeat her 2018 success in this five furlong contest.
“Giving that penalty away, she has proved she is the real deal. She has improved as the winter has gone on and she has got stronger,” enthused Mulrennan who previously enjoyed Group One success on the Dods-trained Mecca’s Angel.
“She had to do it the hard way, as she was always stuck out on the wing a little bit as she had nothing to race with. She is a very special filly and fair to play to Michael Dods - he is a dab hand with these. She will improve as well as she has not had a run this year.
“The King’s Stand, Temple, Nunthorpe and back for the Abbaye will be on the agenda, so it is happy days. This is extra special as I missed the bulk of last season through injury, but you have got to take the highs with the lows.
“There will be plenty more good days in her. It is nice that Michael and the owners have stayed loyal to me as the phone was hopping for other people to get on her.”
Winning owner David Armstrong’s wife Emma was equally delighted with the performance having arrived at the track with an open mind.
She said: “I am fantastically proud. We knew she was fit and well. She had the big penalty and we came with an open mind to see what we would find out.
“I think we may go to the Temple Stakes at Haydock, so hopefully at the end of the month we will see her again. I would think we will look at Royal Ascot as well.”
Meanwhile Magna Grecia will contest many of the top mile races after providing trainer Aidan O’Brien with a record 10th success in the 2000 Guineas. The horse, ridden by the trainer’s son Donnacha, came to prominence when winning last October’s Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster. In winning a third successive Guineas, O’Brien became the first trainer since James Edwards in the 1850s to complete such a hat-trick.
SIGNORA Cabello is set for a return to York this month after her promising comeback behind Calyx at Ascot last week. Winner of the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot last June under Oisin Murphy, Malton trainer John Quinn has earmarked the Westow Stakes at the Dante meeting as a probable target for his stable star.