Michael Dods may well have one of the most progressive fillies in training on his hands. The County Durham-based trainer has been very vocal in his support for the horse in question, as she gears up for her biggest test to date on Saturday.
Dods’ four-year-old is set to take her chance in the Group 1 July Cup at Newmarket. The trainer’s latest bulletin is extremely bullish but it does come with a warning. Check out our free tips page for daily content across British and Irish racing.
Azure Blue is the horse in question and she made a big name for herself by taking the scalp of Highfield Princess last time out. Connections swerved Royal Ascot for a tilt at this race, which was apparently always on the cards. Michael Dods said: “The plan has always been to go to Newmarket as she’s run well at the track before and it’s where we’re hoping to go.”
Her trainer has tasted Group 1 glory before with the likes of Mabs Cross and Mecca’s Angel but he believes she has something different about her. Dods said: “Those better fillies were at five furlongs and she’s done it at six, but she’s very progressive and is on track to be up there with the best ones.”
It has been made very clear that her participation hinges on the ground not being too fast. There is some rain in the forecast and Newmarket are likely to water if necessary. “We’ve been looking at the weather forecast and we don’t want it too firm,” Dods added. “Newmarket can get like a road, but as long as it’s not rattling we’ll be fine. We wouldn’t want it good to firm, firm in places.”
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