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Frankel to get Royal Ascot off 'with a bang'

ESPN staff
May 21, 2012
Frankel made it 10 wins in a row at Newbury © PA Photos

Trainer Sir Henry Cecil has earmarked the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot for Frankel's next run, with an Ascot official saying "we like the idea of starting with a bang".

Cecil's charge, the world's top-rated horse, stretched his winning streak to 10 with a brilliant showing in the Lockinge Stakes over a mile at Newbury on Saturday.

Following Frankel's five-length triumph, Cecil says it is not out of the question the colt will compete in the 10-furlong Prince of Wales's Stakes, although his preference is to unleash him in the Queen Anne at the Royal meeting.

"Over the last two seasons he has come on a good deal from his first race and hopefully he will do the same this season," the Warren Place trainer said on his website, sirhenrycecil.com.

"He has strengthened and grown up a great deal mentally. All being well his next start will be at Ascot in either the Queen Anne or the Prince of Wales, the former being my first preference at the moment, but we will see."

Frankel's owner Khalid Abdullah's racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe also confirmed the four-year-old is most likely to stay with the one-mile trip next month, with the first race of the meeting on Tuesday, June 19.

"It was very pleasing the way that he did it at Newbury," Grimthorpe said. "Obviously we were a bit apprehensive after his injury scare but he's done it really nicely so we're delighted. All being well, it will be Ascot next. I'd think the Queen Anne would be the most likely race."

He added in the Scotsman: "He's in great shape and hopefully he'll progress through the year. The deceptive thing about Frankel is his stride - it's just how he does it, he does it so easily. There is no such thing as a gimme in this sport, so hopefully he'll bring his A-game to the table. You either bring your best or you don't bother at all.

"What we want to see is a good, solid performance and this is obviously the first stepping-stone on what we hope will be a very good year. His style is his own and we are all very conscious that we have something pretty extraordinary on our hands."

Nick Smith, Ascot's spokesman, said that, while Frankel would be the obvious main attraction, re-scheduling the Queen Anne for later in the card to allow more of a build-up to the thoroughbred's next outing was not an option.

"We like the idea of starting the meeting with a bang," Smith said. "Also, you have to consider what would happen if, for whatever reason, he did not make the race. It could easily end up being just four or five runners. You can't build things around one or two individual horses. It can't work like that."

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