Mabs Cross had been led out unsold at 1,100,000 guineas at the Tattersalls December Mare Sale, and Qatar Racing subsequently agreed a deal with the mare’s owner-breeders David and Emma Armstrong.
A top-class and extremely consistent sprinter over three seasons, Mabs Cross won seven of her 20 races and was placed a further four times. Her 2018 Prix de l’Abbaye victory came at the expense of Gold Vibe, Soldier’s Call and the previous year’s Abbaye winner Battaash.
Mabs Cross was beaten just a nose by Alpha Delphini in the 2018 Group One Nunthorpe Stakes (finishing ahead of Blue Point, Battaash, Havana Grey etc.) and also hit the frame in that year’s King’s Stand Stakes and the 2019 Nunthorpe.
She also won the last two renewals of the Group Three Palace House Stakes, as well as a Listed race at the end of her first year on the track as a three-year-old.
A very popular performer, Mabs Cross won both the Sprinter of the Year Award at the Cartier Racing Awards and Outstanding Sprinter Award at the Racehorse Owners Association Awards in 2018.
Mabs Cross is by Dutch Art out of Listed-winning two-year-old Miss Meggy, which makes her a half-sister to three winners, including US Grade Three scorer Charlie Em. Mabs Cross was bred by the Armstrong’s Highfield Farm Llp in Chorley, Lancashire.
Mabs Cross – who will turn six next month – arrived at Tweenhills on Thursday 19th December, just hours before Zoustar returned to Gloucestershire for his second season covering in the Northern Hemisphere.
Qatar Racing’s racing manager and Tweenhills owner David Redvers said:
“It’s really thrilling to acquire a mare of Mabs Cross’s quality, and her purchase is another example of the complete faith we have in the Australian phenomenon that is Zoustar. She adds to our exciting portfolio of high-class racemares and further demonstrates the commitment Sheikh Fahad and his brothers have to breeding top-class thoroughbreds.”
Other potential broodmares bought recently with the specific intention of visiting Zoustar in the future include this year’s Stakes-winning juveniles Good Vibes and Orlaith. Both will race on in 2020 with Good Vibes set to become the first horse Qatar Racing has had with Mabs Cross’s trainer Michael Dods.
Zoustar’s stud fee for the 2020 breeding season at Tweenhills is £30,000 (Oct 1st SLF), up from £25,000 following his continued success in Australia – where he’s reigning champion first- and second-season sire and reigning champion sire of three-year-olds – and a stellar first book of Northern Hemisphere mares at Tweenhills in 2019.