x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Frankel and Canford Cliffs to meet again in inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Stakes

Frankel could be heading for another showdown with Canford Cliffs, this time at the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

Canford Cliffs may get another chance at Frankel, above right, at the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in Ascot.
Canford Cliffs may get another chance at Frankel, above right, at the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in Ascot.

The rematch between Frankel and Canford Cliffs became closer to reality yesterday as the world's two best milers were unveiled among the entries for the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on October 15.

Trained by Sir Henry Cecil, Frankel beat Canford Cliffs by five lengths in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood last Thursday to become, what many ratings experts are saying, the best horse in the world. The two could be joined on British Champions Day by Goldikova, who lies third in the rankings for milers, and who picked up her 14th Group 1 success on Sunday when winning the Prix Rothschild at Deauville in France.

Freddie Head's three-time Breeders' Cup winner is pencilled in for the Prix Jacques Le Marois back at Deauville on August 15, but if the going were to come up soft there, then Ascot would feature in Head's plans.

"If she crosses with Frankel we would run - why not?," said Head.

Twice Over, who was considered the favourite for the Dubai World Cup in March, heads the list for the Champion Stakes on the same card, a race which the son of Observatory has won in the past two seasons.

Also in the line-up could be Nathaniel, who beat Workforce in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes last month; Pour Moi, the English Derby winner; and So You Think, Aidan O'Brien's Australian import.

Dream Ahead, owned by Khalifa bin Dasmal, has been entered for the £250,000 (Dh1.5 million) Champions Sprint, and Godolphin's Opinion Poll and Lost In The Moment are among the 55 entries behind Fame And Glory, the Ascot Gold Cup winner, for the British Champions' Long Distance Cup.

Godolphin's Desert Gazelle is likely to attempt to maintain her unbeaten record in the german-thoroughbred.com Sweet Solera Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

The Smart Strike filly, trained by Saeed bin Suroor, made a fine debut when winning a six-furlong maiden at Newmarket by four lengths. A US$400,000 (Dh1.469m) purchase at the Saratoga Sales last August, she holds Group 1 entries for later in the season.

"She's likely to run this weekend," said bin Suroor. "She worked yesterday and went very nicely. She was very impressive on her debut, but now she needs to prove herself against better fillies in a better race.

"She has to face good fillies this weekend, so we'll see how she gets on, but so far she is doing really well."

Desert Gazelle is one of 15 entries that include Jeremy Noseda's Regal Realm, second in the Princess Margaret Stakes; Lily's Angel, runner-up in the Weatherbys Super Sprint; and Sir Mark Prescott's pair, Gooseberry Fool and Kinetica.

Mahmood Al Zarooni, a trainer with Godolphin, has also entered Discourse, who beat subsequent Cherry Hinton winner, Gamilati, on her only start to date.

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