x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Godolphin out to dethrone unbeaten Frankel

Frankel seeks his seventh Group 1 victory in Tuesday's Queen Anne Stakes, having demonstrated he remains formidable as a four year old when he won the Lockinge Stakes last month.

Frankel won the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, England, last month - his sixth straight victory - and runs in Tuesday's Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. George Shelton / Racingfotos.com
Frankel won the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, England, last month - his sixth straight victory - and runs in Tuesday's Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. George Shelton / Racingfotos.com

Godolphin have not managed to unearth a colt that could challenge Frankel but the Dubai-based operation may try a more left-field choice next week in an effort to deny the world's highest-rated colt at Royal Ascot.

Frankel seeks his seventh Group 1 victory in Tuesday's Queen Anne Stakes, having demonstrated he remains formidable as a four year old when he won the Lockinge Stakes last month.

Godolphin did not have a runner in that Group 1 event, but they fielded five horses against Frankel last season and all were comprehensively beaten.

According to reports in Australia, Godolphin could run Helmet, who was previously trained down under by Peter Snowden. The four year old was transferred to Mahmoud Al Zarooni after Helmet put in his worst performance of his 13-race career when 12th in the UAE Derby at Meydan Racecourse.

A son of Exceed And Excel, whose progeny have a freakishly good record at Ascot Racecourse, Helmet is also entered for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes next Saturday where he would clash with Black Caviar.

"They are still trying to work out his best trip but he's impressing the boys over there [in England] that he's more like a miler than a sprinter," said Henry Plumptre, Darley Australia's general manager. "I don't think they'd want to run him in the sprints and so the Queen Anne is looming large for him.

"The plan is for him to race … over there for the next year and then probably come back to Australia for the 2013 spring breeding season."

Frankel defeated Godolphin's Poet's Voice in the Champion Stakes last October. He accounted for Rio De La Plata in the Sussex Stakes, Neebras in the St James's Palace Stakes and Casamento in the 2000 Guineas.

Saamidd also finished down the field at Newmarket Racecourse and could join Helmet in a three-pronged assault against Frankel, which could include Farhh, trained by Saeed bin Suroor.

A final decision about running plans will be taken this weekend.

One decision that is set in stone, however, is that Frankie Dettori will ride Opinion Poll in the Ascot Gold Cup a week on Thursday.

Dettori was on board both at Meydan, when the pair won the Dubai Gold Cup, and at Sandown Racecourse last month when taking the Henry II Stakes.

The Italian also rode Colour Vision, Godolphin's other hope in the Royal Meeting's feature contest, when winning at Kempton Park from Red Cadeaux, the Melbourne Cup runner-up.

"I think that is the best I've seen from him, at Sandown," Al Zarooni said of Opinion Poll. "They know each other so well, and Frankie will be on the horse at Ascot."

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