Cecil rules out Frankel Derby bid

FRANKEL will next run at Royal Ascot after Henry Cecil said that the remarkable 2000 Guineas winner would not line up in the Investec Derby.

Cecil will resist the temptation to step the unbeaten colt up to a mile and a half at Epsom, instead focussing on the St James’s Palace Stakes over a mile.

The Warren Place handler told the Daily Mail: “I think the Derby would not be doing the right thing.

“I’d want to give him a race before Epsom over a bit further but I can’t do that.

“Frankel is very well, but we will take it step by step.

“You have to think of the horse and we don’t want to be experimenting with him.

“At the moment, he is telling me not to go a mile and a half and the Prince (Khalid Abdullah, owner) agrees.

“All being well, we’ll go to Ascot and then go from there.”

Elas Diamond will not run in the Investec Oaks after suffering a setback in training.

Jeremy Noseda’s filly was last seen finishing second to 1000 Guineas heroine Blue Bunting in the Listed Montrose Stakes at Newmarket last October.

* IRISH champion jockey-elect, Paul Townend, may miss his rides at Punchestown today after being referred to a specialist following a fall from Mr Thriller in the Grade 1 Growise Champion Novice Chase at the track yesterday.

Dr Adrian McGoldrick, senior medical officer at the Turf Club, said last night that it appeared Townend had suffered a collarbone injury.

He was recently kept on the sidelines for a month, only returning a week ago, by a broken collarbone.

He will see specialist, Tadgh O'Sullivan, who treated the previous injury, this morning in Waterford to be assessed, but seems unlikely to take his rides today and could miss the rest of the festival.

Townend currently leads nearest rival, Davy Russell, by 80-75.

* FORMER jockey Richard Fox is on a life-support machine at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds after collapsing while shopping in Newmarket on Saturday.

Irishman Fox, 57, struck his head and later had to be revived by doctors after his heart stopped for 15 minutes. His condition was described by a hospital spokeswoman on Monday night as stable.

His wife, Marie, along with his sister and a representative from the Injured Jockeys’ Fund were with him on Monday, when close friend and broadcaster Derek Thompson was among his visitors.

“We are just keeping our fingers crossed,” said Thompson. “I was there for an hour this morning, talking away, but he wasn’t hearing anything.”

Fox has been a beneficiary of the IJF since suffering an aneurysm that came close to claiming his life while riding out on the Newmarket gallops in 1999.

The popular former apprentice of Frenchie Nicholson had a successful lightweight career. The Lincoln, Cesarewitch, Northumberland Plate, Ascot Stakes and Bunbury Cup are among his handicap wins.

* FORMER trainer David Chapman has died, aged 77.

Chapman passed away on Monday night after suffering a blackout at his base at Stillington, near Easingwold, North Yorkshire.

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