Frankel takes on seven in QEII

Frankel will face seven rivals when he bids to maintain his unbeaten record in the Qipco-sponsored Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

Frankel will face seven rivals when he bids to maintain his unbeaten record in the Qipco-sponsored Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

Sir Henry Cecil’s three-year-old has looked imperious this season, apart from a small blip in the St James’s Palace Stakes at the Royal meeting which he still won by three-quarters of a length.

This has been his target since a dominant display in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood where he beat older horses for the first time and gallop watchers have been reporting his startling progress.

He will be joined by stablemate and three-parts brother Bullet Train.

Taking him on is the flying French challenger Immortal Verse, who has won her last three races in the manner of a filly out of the top drawer.

Robert Collet’s three-year-old swooped late to win the Coronation Stakes in June and then beat none other than Goldikova in the Prix Jacques le Marois in August.

Marco Botti’s Excelebration has already had two attempts at beating Frankel this season.

He was defeated four lengths in the Greenham in April but closed the gap in the St James’s Palace.

His other three starts this season have all been winning ones, in the German Guineas, the Hungerford Stakes and the Prix du Moulin.

Richard Hannon, who could effectively seal back-to-back trainers’ championship this weekend, has two bites of the cherry with Dick Turpin and Dubawi Gold.

Dual Group One-winner Dick Turpin bounced back from a disappointing run in the Prix Jacques le Marois to beat Cityscape in Italy last time out. He will be ridden by Richard Hughes.

Dubawi Gold has had a busy season. He chased home Frankel in the Guineas on his third run, but has since held his form and was fourth to Excelebration at Longchamp last time out.

Andrew Balding’s Side Glance was fourth in Woodbine when last in action, while Godolphin’s Poet’s Voice, winner of the race last season, attempts to return to his best.

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