Frankel puts down Palace marker with impressive gallop

FRANKEL again impressed Newmarket work-watchers yesterday morning and is set to go off at long odds-on in next week’s St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Henry Cecil took his unbeaten colt to the Watered Gallop on Racecourse Side to exercise with his usual lead horse, Bullet Train.

Reports of Frankel’s outrageous performances at home are nothing new but he looked in typically powerful shape under Shane Fetherstonhaugh, coming a couple of lengths clear of Bullet Train with his regular work-rider’s hands full.

Such was the manner of Frankel’s Qipco 2000 Guineas victory, he is just 1-3 with totesport and 1-4 with Coral to take his winning streak to seven on Tuesday.

“After his extraordinary 2000 Guineas win, all eyes will be on Frankel in the St James’s Palace Stakes, and we expect to see further success for Henry Cecil’s charge, with his rivals seemingly running for second place,” said Coral’s David Stevens.

Totesport representative George Primarolo added: “Such was Frankel’s superiority in the Guineas that it seems that the only obstacle to another Group One victory is the return to a round course, but the manner in which he routed the Royal Lodge field suggests his rivals could well be clutching at straws.”

Khalid Abdullah’s beast was among 13 left in at the conformation stage and his main danger on the betting is Dubawi Gold, who is on course to challenge him again.

Dubawi Gold got closest to Frankel in the Guineas, some six lengths adrift, before trainer Richard Hannon took him for compensation in the Irish Guineas.

Under a hold-up ride from Richard Hughes, he was unable to reel in Roderic O’Connor.

Tim Jones, racing manager for Dubawi Gold’s owner Andrew Tinkler, said: “The St James’s Palace has always been in our minds as the next step, and the only other option for three-year-olds over a mile for a long time is the Prix Jean Prat in early July.

“You make the entries for that on June 15, but you haven’t really got an idea what would be running for quite a long time.

“So weighing up the pros and cons, we couldn’t see any reason to sidestep the St James’s Palace.

“He came out of the Irish Guineas in good order and seems tremendously well. Mentally he has really grown up.”

Aidan O’Brien, who won the Irish Classic with Roderic O’Connor, relies on Alexander Pope and Zoffany.

David Simcock’s Dream Ahead could make his seasonal debut if ground conditions were to suit, while Richard Fahey is keen to give Wootton Bassett another chance after he could only finish fifth in the French 2000 Guineas.

Marco Botti has left in German 2000 Guineas winner Excelebration, who was second to Frankel in the Greenham at Newbury.

Grand Prix Boss represents Japan while Temps Au Temps is the sole French entry.

The William Haggas-trained Fury, Godolphin’s Neebras, Barry Hills’ Rerouted and Tazahum from Sir Michael Stoute’s stable complete the list of acceptors.

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