Horse racing-Ascot ground could be an unknown for Frankel
LONDON, (Reuters) - Frankel, the world’s highest-rated racehorse, heads into his probable racecourse farewell “better than ever and still improving” but with concerns over the testing ground at Ascot, trainer Henry Cecil said.
The unbeaten four-year-old, who has amassed more than two million pounds ($3.23 million) in prize money in a glittering 13-race career and is set to generate millions more as a stallion, faces five rivals on Saturday in the Champion Stakes, part of the richest day in British racing.
“I am pretty confident he will be fine in soft ground but if it’s heavy we are in no-man’s land. He has never encountered it and, with his action and turn of foot, I cannot be sure that he would appreciate it,” Cecil said in a statement released by Champions Day sponsors QIPCO on Thursday.
As in his previous campaigns, Frankel has been in imperious form this season, winning four Group One contests – the Juddmonte International, Sussex Stakes, Queen Anne Stakes and Lockinge Stakes – and Cecil said the Galileo colt was spot-on for Saturday.
“I was very pleased with Frankel’s final piece of work. He gives the impression that he is better than ever and still improving.
“I could not be happier with him. He seems full of himself and, considering the time of year, he is really good and healthy in his coat. He eats everything put in front of him.”
Cecil, 69, believes the apple of his eye has helped him in his own personal battle with stomach cancer.