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2000 Guineas: Frankel in focus
by Geir Stabell / Globeform
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Newmarket:

Frankel, a brilliant juvenile champion who won all of his races in great style last year, is a heavy favourite for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas (G1), following an easy win in the Greenham Stakes (G3) at Newbury on his reappearance.

With five wins from as many starts, Frankel may be one of the best colts seen for some time in Europe and he will not be easy to beat. He was pulling a bit early on at Newbury, where his employed pacemaker was unable to go quickly enough, but he was visually impressive in his effortless 4-length win over Excelebration.

A son of dual Derby winner Galileo, Frankel is out of a sprinting mare, and he showed plenty of speed in his first season. His best performance came when he slammed Klammer by 10 lengths in the Royal Lodge Stakes (G2) over a mile at Ascot in September. Frankel had won a maiden at Newmarket (beating Nathaniel and Genius Beast) and a conditions race at Doncaster on his previous starts, and he absolutely hacked up at Ascot, beating Klammer out of sight. Klammer went on to win the Horris Hill Stakes (G3) on his next outing. In mid-October, Frankel was ready for his first Group One race, the prestigious Dewhurst Stakes (G1) over a straight 7 furlongs at Newmarket's Rowley Mile course the venue for the Guineas. His main rival based on previous form, Dream Ahead, ran well below his best and that took some of the gloss off of Frankel's performance. He was pulling early in the race, and never really settled, but when Queally let him loose it was soon all over. Frankel quickened up to win the Dewhurst by 2 lengths from the Irish trained 25-1 shot Roderic O'Connor, with another Irish colt, Glor Na Mara (33-1) in third. It seemed that he had beaten rather ordinary rivals on the day but Roderic O'Connor gave the form a nice boost when winning the Criterium International (G1) at Saint-Cloud two weeks later.

Frankel may also be a contender for the Investec Derby (G1) at Epsom in June, and he holds an entry for the Dante Stakes (G2) at York in May normally the strongest Derby prep in England. Will he stay the Derby distance? It is not impossible. His half-brother Bullet Train won the Lingfield Derby Trial (G3) last year (admitteldly a weak eadition), and it is also interesting to note that last year's Irish Derby winner, Cape Blanco, is also a son of Galileo out of a sprinting dam. Frankel's dam, Kind, has a stout pedigree and on breding there is no reason Frankel won't stay 1 miles. His running style, on the other hand, says he is unlikely to appreciate such a test of stamina. The mile trip of the 2,000 Guineas is probably ideal.





Last update: 2011-04-29 04:49:37 (First published: 2011-04-26 09:29:24 )

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