By Sean Goff | Sports Reporter
The unbeaten Frankel bids to sign off on his racing career with a 14th win in the 1m 2f Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot (4.05) on Saturday.
Henry Cecil’s colt allayed all doubts about any stamina limitations with an imperious performance when slamming nearest rival Farhh by seven lengths in the Juddmonte Stakes at York.
Last season’s 2,000 Guineas winner is long odds on to retire unbeaten but Paddy Power’s Winning Distance Specials make Frankel 6/4 to win by six lengths or more inclusive, 9/4 to win by up to 3&3/4 lengths inclusive and 4/1 to win by four to five lengths inclusive.
But there is a doubt about his participation and if the going turns from soft to heavy overnight chances are that Frankel will be a non-runner.
The Khalid Abdullah-owned superstar has won on soft before – his racecourse debut when beating Nathaniel (who also runs tomorrow) had plenty of give in the ground – but he’s unproven on very testing going.
Cirrus Des Aigles re-opposes and the jungle drums have been beating loudly for the French challenger – who won this race last year – since the rain arrived.
If there are any chinks in Frankel’s armour this one is likely to find them.
The opening Group 3 Long Distance Cup brings together the last three Royal Ascot Gold Cup winners in Colour Vision, Fame and Glory and Rite of Passage.
Godolphin’s Opinion Poll – second to stable-mate Colour Vision at the Royal meeting heads the market at 3/1 in what is a wide-open contest.
Society Rock bids to follow up his Haydock Sprint Cup win in the Group 2 6f Qipco Champion Sprint Stakes.
Kieren Fallon keeps the mount on James Fanshawe’s runner in a race where Paddy Power is paying ¼ the odds the first four home.
John Gosden’s Great Heavens who was supplemented for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe before finishing sixth to Solemia a fortnight ago heads the betting for the Group 2 British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes (2.55).
She previously had won the Irish Oaks beating Shirocco Star on soft/heavy ground and looks the one to beat with ground conditions on the soft side.
If your selection finishes second to Great Heavens Paddy Power will refund your losing single stake.
The 1m Queen Elizabeth II Stakes precedes the day’s feature and Aidan O’Brien’s Excelebration who has seen more of Frankel’s arse-end (beaten five times) than his stable lass can gain some compensation for all those defeats by landing this prize.