Queally: Frankel still has a lot to prove heading into Guineas showdown

TOM Queally admits Frankel still has a bit to prove as he heads into tomorrow’s Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Henry Cecil’s unbeaten colt is a grandson of the recently deceased Sadler’s Wells and would be a timely winner of the Classic, but there would be bigger reasons to cheer him home.

Cecil has been through the doldrums in recent years and is looking for his first win in the race since Wollow in 1976, while Queally, despite having won a raft of big races in recent seasons, is still searching for his first British Classic success.

According to the bookmakers, and some rival connections, Frankel is already home and hosed, but Queally does not see it that way.

“I don’t really do pressure as every ride is important to me whatever the occasion, but with expectations of Frankel riding so high, I will be going through Saturday’s 2000 Guineas with even more care than usual,” he said.

“Don’t get me wrong, I have no doubts whatsoever about Frankel’s abilities, it’s just that it takes so much hard work to get a horse ready to run in a Classic, let alone to go and win it.

“Care and attention to detail is needed every step of the way and being over confident is never a good idea as everyone knows there’s no such thing as a racing certainty.

“Unbeaten in five races, he goes into the race the shortest-priced Guineas favourite for over 30 years, but he still has plenty to prove.

“There’s a lot of talent in the race and he will be racing on ground faster than he’s ever run on before, but there are also plenty of positives, not the least of which is that he has won over the course and will have the benefit of a pacemaker in Rerouted.

“He wasn’t fully tuned up when he won at Newbury a couple of weeks ago, but the race has brought him on and he is a much better horse now than he was then. He did his last piece of work on Tuesday and will be spot-on (for) Saturday.

“He has an extraordinary long stride and, if we get a sensible pace, I hope I’ll be celebrating my first English Classic winner,” Queally wrote on his blog on Racing UK.

Cecil issued an upbeat bulletin about the youngster, and expects him to be in better shape than he was for his seasonal reappearance at Newbury in the Greenham, which he won by four lengths.

“Frankel is very well, he did his final piece of work on Tuesday morning and I was delighted. He was lovely and relaxed in behind his lead horse and I’d be very surprised if he’s not a better horse than at Newbury,” said Cecil. “He has come on a lot for his run. I was really pleased how he behaved there as he was fresh going into it. He hadn’t been on the grass since last year as it has been so dry so I was thrilled he was so well behaved,” he told his website.

Richard Hannon jnr, assistant trainer to his father who is represented by the lively outsider Dubawi Gold, believes Frankel’s 12 rivals are playing for places. “We’re all fighting it out for the places by the looks of things but he’s (Dubawi Gold) a horse who’s done nothing wrong this year,” Hannon told At The Races.

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