Frankel heads Greenham Stakes field

FRANKEL will face a maximum of seven rivals in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

The Henry Cecil-trained colt starts the season as one of the most talked about horses of recent years and is red-hot favourite for the Qipco 2000 Guineas on the back of an unbeaten juvenile campaign.

Cecil has also entered the once-beaten Picture Editor, while Richard Hannon is double-handed with Strong Suit and Vanguard Dream.

Barry Hills can call on Shropshire with the progressive Excelebration representing Marco Botti.

Jim Bolger could send over Glor Na Mara, still a maiden but third to Frankel in the Dewhurst.

The eight possibles are completed by Mahmood Al Zarooni’s Neebras, although he is declared for the big sales race at Newmarket tomorrow.

Both Frankel and Picture Editor are owned by Khalid Abdullah and his racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe revealed the latter may be deployed in a pace-making role this weekend.

He said: “Picture Editor won his maiden at Doncaster nicely and it looked quite a good race at the time.

“He then bolted up in a three-horse race at Leicester, which was a bit of a non-event, and he worked really well going into the Zetland Stakes but disappointed on the day.

“There was nothing wrong with him afterwards, so it probably was a case of him being over the top by then. He has come through the winter quite well and we have quite decent hopes for him.

“He has been entered in a 10-furlong conditions race at Newbury on Friday but he may well turn up on Saturday in the Greenham Stakes at the same course to do another part-time job in ensuring a good gallop for Frankel.

“Frankel has a very good cruising pace but you really don’t want a crawl in any trial – the whole idea is to bring him on for a Classic and there wouldn’t be much point in running if it was just a crawl.”

Ed Dunlop’s Native Khan will face five rivals in the Breeze Up Vendors Craven Stakes at Newmarket tomorrow.

The Azamour colt impressed on his first couple of starts as two-year-old and was not disgraced in finishing fourth in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

Marcus Tregoning has an intriguing contender in Yaseer, who chased home the much vaunted Carlton House on his debut at Newbury before running away with a Kempton maiden.

Richard Hannon’s pair of Libranno and Casual Glimpse, the David Simcock-trained Ahlaain and Yahafedh Alaih from the Clive Brittain stable complete the field.

Kieren Fallon will be the man on board Native Khan and he was thrilled after riding him on Tuesday.

“I rode him work this morning and the horse is so well,” Fallon told At The Races.

“I don’t think things went right for him in the Racing Post Trophy. The ground was against him and he was a little bit further back than Paul (Hanagan) would have wanted off a slow pace.

“Putting the two together he would have been right there in the finish and he’s done so well. He’s got a really good neck on him and he looks a million dollars.

“He’s working nicely and is doing everything Ed wants at the moment, but whatever he does in the Craven, I know he’ll improve.

“He’ll definitely go beyond a mile, but how far is questionable.”

Meanwhile, Roger Varian is on something of a fact-finding mission with Toolain in the Blue Square Feilden Stakes at Newmarket this afternoon.

The Diktat colt won twice as a juvenile and while his trainer believes there is more to come from him this season, he remains unsure what his best distance is likely to be.

“I hope he can run a nice race. We’re stepping up to nine furlongs and hopefully we can learn a bit about him,” said Varian.

“It should tell us which to way to go with him this year – whether he’s a miler or whether he might even get 10 furlongs.

“He’s ready to run and hopefully he can run well. He has already proved he has ability, particularly when winning at Ascot as the form of that race worked out really well.”

Richard Hannon saddles two-time winner Moriarty and the trainer told his website: “Moriarty was the only one of ours who ran his race at York’s Ebor meeting, but he won his maiden well there and then followed up in the Haynes, Hanson and Clark Stakes at Newbury.

“He has thrived through the winter and the step up to nine furlongs should suit him.”

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