Mabs Cross must concede a Group One winners’ penalty in Saturday’s Temple Stakes (16:00) at Haydock, but owner David Armstrong hopes her rivals might inadvertently help her achieve it.

Crowned last year’s Cartier Champion Sprinter, Mabs Cross has already defied carrying weight as she returned to action by landing a second successive renewal of the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket earlier this month.

The Dutch Art mare surged home late on to deny Equilateral, despite conceding 4lb to her rival. Armstrong knows that the Michael Dods-trained runner will once again be seeking to play her cards last in the Group Two at Haydock.

Mabs Cross must turn around form with both Battaash and Kachy, who finished first and third in last year’s running of the Temple Stakes.

She’s 11/4 with Betfred to pull it off and, with prominent racers Battaash and Kachy likely to blaze a trail in front, the owner hopes the race will pan out exactly how his mare needs it to.

“She has so much speed it’s unbelievable, but she has to come from off the pace and the race needs to go right for her,” said Armstrong.

“With Kachy and Battaash in the field, she’ll get a pace to run at. She was only beaten three-quarters of a length last year and hopefully she can catch them this time.”

Battaash won the Temple Stakes under a penalty of his own last year, though Charlie Hills’ star will this time be getting 2lb from Mabs Cross instead. He has, however, finished behind her in their last two meetings in York’s Nunthorpe and in the Abbaye.

Tom Dascombe’s Kachy was within a neck of Battaash at the line last year, though he finished some seven lengths down on the same rival when they clashed in the King George Qatar Stakes at Goodwood in August.

He has thrived with three impressive all-weather wins during a profitable winter/spring campaign and now returns to the turf.

Battaash is the 6/5 favourite with Betfred for the Temple Stakes, while Kachy trades at 7/2.

Odds subject to change.