Frankel's Ascot finale will last chance to beat 'the champ'


Frankel's team are expecting their unbeaten charge to face a field determined to ruin what is likely to be his final ever race later this month.

The four-year-old pleased the Newmarket crowds with a workout on Saturday ahead of Ascot's Champion Stakes.

And Teddy Grimthorpe, race manager for owner Prince Khalid Abdullah, told BBC Look East: "Every race he goes to he's got to be on top form.

"Everyone wants to have a shot at the champ," he added.

Frankel, trained at Sir Henry Cecil's Warren Place stables in Newmarket, and before the word's top-rated horse is expected to be retired to stud.

"You never say never but I think in everyone's minds this will probably be his last race," said Grimthorpe.

"We've had three wonderful years. He's been exceptional literally from day one. He's raised the bar a little bit I'd say.

"He's given everyone really tremendous times particularly Prince Khallid and everyone at Warren Place."

Saturday's workout before the Cambridgeshire Day card saw Frankel gallop with stable companions Specific Gravity and his half-brother Bullet Train over nine furlongs.

Ridden by regular jockey Tom Queally,

"We want him there in the best possible shape [for Ascot]," said Grimthorpe.

"We learnt that he's in good form. Or he still is in good form. He's moving very nicely, which is most important. All the right signs are there.

"With a horse of his calibre the expectations are enormous. But the things that have to go right for Frankel are still the same.

"He's got to be healthy, sound and in a good frame of mind. And the race has got to go pretty much to plan. There are glorious uncertainties in racing which always make it interesting."

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