Frankel set for change of tactics

CONNECTIONS are set to employ different riding tactics on Frankel at Royal Ascot.

Henry Cecil’s charge blitzed his rivals from the front in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas but the trainer insists he isn’t certain to adopt that same role in the St James’s Palace Stakes.

Cecil told At The Races: “We’ll have different tactics this time. I’ve got a plan obviously but it’s not always easy to do what you want to do though.”

The son of Galileo is unbeaten in six starts and Cecil believes that continuing his winning streak is not just important to connections, but to racing as a whole.

“He’s obviously very good and I’d love for him to continue being an unbeaten champion because it’s so good for racing. Racing needs a Mill Reef, a Sea The Stars or an Arkle — it lifts the whole industry up.”

Cecil is aware of the pressure of having the world’s joint top-rated horse under his care but is delighted with the colt’s preparation for Tuesday’s mile contest.

“We’re very pleased with him,” he explained.

“He’s stronger — he’s done well physically and he’s growing up, relaxing more although he’s still a bit hyper at times.

“Because of his very long stride you have to take a pull on him, but he’s beginning to relax more.

“We’ve tried to get him to relax — he can’t keep on doing what he did at Newmarket.”

Cecil expects the Khalid Abdullah-owned colt to handle the occasion of Royal Ascot, despite not being the easiest to train at Warren Place.

“He’s complicated — he wants to get on with things. You have to take things very carefully with a horse of his calibre.

“We dread something going wrong but I’m not really worried about the occasion. He might sweat a little between his back legs -a trait which his full brother shares.

“He’s quite hot blooded — he doesn’t have a rug on at home because he gets hot at night. He walks around the paddock sensibly, I mean everyone’s trying to make him into some highly strung monster but he isn’t at all.

Cecil, with 72 Royal Ascot winners to his name, knows that no race is a foregone conclusion at the Berkshire venue.

“We respect the opposition,” he said. “Marco Botti’s horse (Excelebration) won nicely in Germany and he looks to have improved since we beat him at Newbury and Richard Hannon’s horse was unlucky in Ireland. It’s not going to be easy but I’d be disappointed if he doesn’t win.”

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