Frankel returns at Newbury on Saturday
10:06 19 May 2012
PA Wire/Press Association Images
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Frankel returns to the track on Saturday for the JLT Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, his first public outing since completing a racecourse gallop at Newmarket on 2000 Guineas day.
The Galileo four-year-old is set to face six rivals in the Group 1 mile where he heads the betting at 1-3. The Aidan O’Brien trained Excelebration is considered the main danger at 11-4, with the remaining runners priced at 12-1 or more.
Frankel – named after the American Racing Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel who died in 2009 – was officially rated the best horse in the World earlier this year after winning all of his nine starts that included four Group 1s last season.
The victories have been over seven furlongs or a mile, and while a step up in distance has been mooted, Cecil has admitted that no decision has been made as to what distance last year’s 2000 Guineas winner will be campaigned over this season.
“We’re obviously going to start at a mile. It’s a question mark at Royal Ascot whether we’d go a mile or a mile and a quarter. Maybe he will stay at a mile,” Cecil said.
“He will step up in trip later in the year, I’m sure. He’s got to tell us it’s the right thing to do. Whether it be the Eclipse time or whether it be Juddmonte time, there’s a good chance that he will.
“He’ll tell me what I should do. At the moment I’m rather veering towards the two races at a mile - the Lockinge and Royal Ascot - before thinking of going further.
“I think he’ll stay, but then again let’s see how he races, how he settles.
“It would be nice for him to go a mile and quarter. If you’re just taking on the same two or three milers all through the year it’s not the same as hopefully getting on top of them and then having the chance of taking on the mile and a quarter horses. Then you’re taking on the best over two different distances.”