Gerald Mosse called up to partner Mabs Cross for Abbaye assignment
As third-choice jockeys go, he must be one of the very best. The "world class" Gerald Mosse is set to ride Mabs Cross for the very first time for Michael Dods in the Qatar Prix de l'Abbaye at Longchamp on Sunday.
Regular partner Paul Mulrennan has been sidelined since fracturing his back in a fall on the gallops in July, and Tom Eaves, who was on board for the improving filly's agonising near-miss in the Nunthorpe, broke his leg at Newcastle last week.
So Dods has gone local to find a jockey for the four-year-old and turned to Britain-based Frenchman Mosse, who first rode in the Group 1 sprint nearly 30 years ago and won it on Wizz Kid in 2012.
"We thought we'd go for someone who's very used to the French tracks and luckily we've got Gerald," said the Darlington trainer.
"I don't think he'll be able to sit on her beforehand, we're too close now and we've got her, work-wise, where we want her, but he's a world-class jockey so he'll know what he's doing."
Mosse, 51, has made a successful switch to riding in Britain this year and his 31 victories include a Group 2 double on Sir Dancealot. He is set to base himself in Britain for 2019 as well.
Mabs Cross, a £3,000 yearling who races in the colours of David Armstrong, won the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket in May and was third in the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.
She faces an Abbaye rematch with Alpha Delphini, who beat her by the narrowest of margins at York in August in one of the races of the year.
"She's had a long season because she's been on the go since the Palace House, but she seems in great form and looks well," said Dods.
"We go there with a fighting chance but under no illusions that it's an easy race. All the normal contenders look like being there but she's improving."
Mabs Cross is a best-priced 9-1 for the Abbaye, with last year's winner Battaash the hot favourite to bounce back after finishing only fourth when odds-on for the Nunthorpe.
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