/ Racing

Frankel may yet run in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Updated: Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 11:10 | Comments

Frankel could compete in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
Frankel could compete in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Connections of Frankel were not dismissing the possibility of a tilt at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe after the unbeaten colt's latest brilliant display in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York.

Trainer Henry Cecil has stated the Champion Stakes at Ascot would be his preferred route for Frankel to finish his career, but he won with such ease over an extended mile and a quarter that he is just 1-4 to end on a winning note in France.

When the duties of the pacemakers - Robin Hood and Windsor Palace for St Nicholas Abbey and Bullet Train for Frankel - had been carried out, Tom Queally eased the 1-10 favourite into the lead with two furlongs remaining.

And he settled proceedings in the way only this horse can, his brute power and class taking him seven lengths clear of two of Europe's best middle-distance performers in Farhh and St Nicholas Abbey.

Three cheers rang out for Frankel, but Cecil was accorded a standing ovation himself.

Wearing a sombre black hat, the great trainer's voice has been reduced to a whisper due to illness picked up as a side-effect of his cancer treatment, and he spoke only briefly.

"That was great, wasn't it?" he said.

"It's fantastic. It's great for Yorkshire, they are very supportive of racing and they deserve to see him."

Asked how it made him feel, the trainer said: "Twenty years better."

Cecil's long-standing owner, Prince Khalid Abdullah, was also retaining the race he has sponsored for over 20 years, and he was pressed as to whether he would be tempted by the Arc.

"I don't think so," he said. "I will talk to Henry about it but we'll see. I will do whatever Henry thinks.

"I didn't think a mile and a quarter was a problem, but more than that I don't think so."

The owner's racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe, said: "For Henry and the team to bring Frankel in such great shape to York, in front of a brilliant crowd who appreciated him, is absolutely fantastic.

"Then for the horse to perform like he did, it's a dream, isn't it?

Considering the Arc, Grimthorpe said: "He's not in there. Henry didn't want him in the race and he'd have to supplemented.

"There will be a discussion and we'll have to see. The plan was always Ascot but we'll have to see how he comes out of the race."

Farhh's trainer Saeed bin Suroor and St Nicholas Abbey's handler Aidan O'Brien had no excuses and were simply happy to have been part of a memorable event.

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