Cecil eager for Frankel return

Sir Henry Cecil remains keen to see Frankel make his seasonal reappearance in next month's JLT Lockinge Stakes at Newbury after the unbeaten colt was given the all-clear to resume his training programme.

The four-year-old is the world's highest rated racehorse following a stellar campaign in 2011 which saw him win four Group One prizes, including the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

He hurt his off-fore when working in Newmarket last Wednesday (11 April)  and while it was initially reported to be a minor problem, it later transpired the injury could be more serious.

However, those fears have now been allayed following a scan and while it looked highly unlikely Frankel would be heading to Newbury last weekend, Cecil hopes he could still make the trip.

"He obviously hit his tendon quite badly and there was a lot of haemorrhaging. I was always very hopeful as it didn't feel like a normal tendon (injury), but you never know," he told Racing UK.

"He's got a tremendously long stride and he went on to the grass on Racecourse Side for the first time and I think he hit his front leg with his back leg on the tendon.

"He was scanned this morning very thoroughly and everything with his tendon is fine. I've had him walking and trotting, everything seems to have settled down, we'll resume work and we'll feel our way.

"I'd like to make Newbury if possible because it's a long time with a horse like that to hang around until (Royal) Ascot. Then you'll get hardened horses who've had a race or two."

Cecil had initially planned to take Frankel for a racecourse gallop at Newbury this weekend and while that idea has obviously been shelved, the master of Warren Place could still take his stable star for a day away if he feels it is required.

"If I have to take him somewhere I'll take him. He'll probably resume cantering this weekend," Cecil added.

"I've been looking at tendons for 40 years, but you can never always be right and it was a bit of a worry.

"The Prince (Khalid Abdullah, owner) was fantastic and said 'I've had so much fun out of that horse and he's done more than I could ever have expected, so don't worry.' But I said I am worried because I think he could be a better horse this year and we need him.

"I hope he doesn't do it again as it's giving me grey hairs!"

19 April 2012

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Frankel Facts

Frankel has now been retired to stand at a stallion for Juddmonte Farms at Banstead Manor Stud, the farm where he was born.