Cecil Eager For Caviar Clash
Cecil Eager For Caviar Clash
Sporting Life


Sir Henry Cecil is all for a meeting between racing’s two unbeaten superstars Frankel and Black Caviar, but concedes it could only happen in the Qipco Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

With Frankel due to make his eagerly-awaited reappearance in the JLT Lockinge Stakes this weekend and Australian sensation Black Caviar having stretched her unbeaten tally to 21 last Saturday, racing folk continue to debate who would come out on top were the two ever to meet.

Black Caviar‘s trainer Peter Moody suggested in a recent interview he would not be keen to step the sprinter up to a mile on an undulating track, despite Qipco’s offer to increase the Sussex prize fund to £1million.

Frankel himself is also due to step up in trip at some stage this season, with the 10 furlongs of the Coral Eclipse a possibility for his first attempt over anything further than a mile.

“I’d love them to meet and it would be good for racing and racing needs champions. The only race they could meet would be in the Sussex Stakes,” said Cecil.

With Royal Ascot fast approaching, Cecil was desperately keen to get a run into his charge before then and, thankfully, he recovered from the injury he picked up in early April in time to make the Newbury contest.

“The injury should not recur and he’s fine. It is a hiccup we didn’t want. I think it is important to get a race into him before Ascot and it is a long time until then,” he told British Champions Series’TV.

His options at Ascot are the Queen Anne over a mile or the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes over 10 furlongs.

“Maybe, he may stay at a mile. He will step up I’m sure later in the year; either at Eclipse (July 7) time or Juddmonte time and I wouldn’t want to step him up until I am ready. He will tell’me what I should do, but I think it would be slightly later on in the season,” added Cecil.

The public got to see Frankel on 2000 Guineas day when the superstar took part in a racecourse gallop on the Rowley Mile, showcasing his blistering power against a couple of stablemates.

“The idea of a racecourse gallop was to get the adrenaline going. It was like having a very easy race and the main thing was to get him to settle,” said Cecil.

“I wish they had gone a bit faster in the early stages. We haven’t been able to use the grass.

“We are trying to catch a train a little bit for Newbury and if we had gone 5mph faster for the first half it might have been more helpful.

“It was marvellous for the Prince (Khalid Abdullah, owner) to keep him in training. A lot of people would have retired him due to commercial reasons. I’m glad he did because he is a stronger horse now and hopefully he will be even better.

“It’s nice to see his full potential.”

With Frankel set to grab the spotlight, Newbury officials are preparing for a bumper crowd.

“We’ve taken a lot of advance bookings during the past three weeks on the back of Frankel‘s intended run here, but we’ve known about the possibility for some time and we’ll be ready,” said Newbury‘s joint managing director Stephen Higgins yesterday.

“He won the Greenham here last year before going on to take the 2000 Guineas, and we’re thrilled to bits to have him come back, particularly after the injury scare which threatened to delay his return.

“Sir Henry Cecil’s upbeat report on Frankel‘s well being last weekend heightened interest still further and, if we get good weather, we could be looking at a huge attendance.

“There’s a lot of media attention being given to his return to the racecourse and that’s not only good for our race sponsor, but great for racing as well, especially as it seems likely that he will face some strong opposition.”

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