Azure Blue To Take On Highfield Princess In Nunthorpe

Michael Dods | Lauren Green/Tattersalls

Azure Blue (Ire) (El Kabeir), who bested Highfield Princess (Fr) (Night Of Thunder {Ire}) in the G2 Duke Of York S. in May, will square off again with that multiple Group 1 winner in York's G1 Nunthorpe S. on Aug. 25, trainer Michael Dods confirmed on Friday.

A listed winner last October, the 4-year-old claimed the Listed Ellen Chaloner S. at Newmarket at the beginning of May before her group heroics. She was sixth in the G1 July Cup S. at Newmarket, but is reportedly doing well.

“At the moment we're thinking of going to York and the Nunthorpe,” said Dods, who has won the Knavesmire feature three times with Mecca's Angel (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) in 2015/2016 and Mabs Cross (GB) (Dutch Art {GB}) in 2018.

“We're pulling her back a furlong and it will be very competitive if the 2-year-olds come in and also Highfield Princess was so impressive at Goodwood.

“We had had a run and Highfield had not when we met before and she's obviously come on a lot from then. But it is the obvious race and at the moment the plan is to go there.”

The five-furlong Group 1 is new territory for the filly, who has raced at six furlongs or farther in every other start to date.

“We're travelling into the unknown,” Dods acknowledged. “They will go a hard gallop and hopefully she will be fine. We're looking forward to it and at the minute it is all systems go.”

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