Henry Cecil reports Frankel is Lockinge-bound
• Trainer happy with workout ahead of racecourse reappearance
• Colt breezed past two stable companions in impressive style
Frankel, ridden by Tom Queally, put up an impressive racecourse gallop at Newmarket on Saturday ahead of his reappearance at Newbury later this month.
Frankel, the top-rated horse in the world last year, moved with his familiar ease and fluency at Newmarket on Saturday as he made his first trip to a racecourse as a four-year-old. Henry Cecil’s colt exercised with two stablemates, Bullet Train and Jet Away, before racing on the Rowley Mile, and readily quickened seven lengths clear in the final quarter-mile of a seven-furlong gallop.
Frankel, who was ridden by his regular jockey Tom Queally, was keen through the first furlong, but soon settled just behind his two companions and went on before running into the Dip before drawing further clear all the way to the post. There was no hint of the leg injury a little over three weeks ago which briefly seemed to have ended his four-year-old career before it had started, and he is now on course to run in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on 19 May.
“He enjoyed himself,” his trainer, Sir Henry Cecil, said afterwards. “He was very relaxed going down, which is good and more than he was last year. You can’t be anything but pleased. He’s grown and he’s stronger [since last year] and he’s getting much more sensible. That was the worry about him early on, because horses that pull usually fall in a heap, but he never has and now that he’s settling, perhaps there will be more to come.
“At the moment everything is fine [regarding a run at Newbury]. He’ll need another two or three bits of work, then hopefully it will be decent ground, we wouldn’t want ground like we had at the spring meeting first time out. He’ll go in the soft ground as well as the other horses, and of course he gets the mile very well, but you just hope for some nice ground for them all.
“Touch wood, everything is absolutely fine [with his leg]. It’s not worrying me, so it must be getting better.”
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Prince Khalid Abdullah, Frankel’s owner, said that the gallop was a “pleasing start” to the new campaign.
“I hope it will do him a lot of good,” Grimthrope said. “He enjoys the experience here and he’s moved tremendously well, which is the most important thing. He was a little strong to start off with until he got into his rhythm, but he is deceptive like that, mainly because of his stride.
“The main idea is to get to Newbury and obviously if he continues to please, he’ll go. At the moment we’re heading to Newbury if we can, I know he missed a week but he’d got a pretty good base before then. It looks like he’s catching up pretty nicely and I think Henry would want to go to Newbury if we can. If there was a deluge we might have to think again, but at the moment we’re thinking positively.”
Greg Wood, The Guardian
5 May 2012