x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Horse racing: Farhh's chance with Frankel pondered by Godolphin

Just six weeks ago Farhh was thrashed by Frankel at Goodwood, but Godolphin wants him to run in the next few weeks and that means the two may meet again in the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes.

Farhh, here with Frankie Dettori aboard at Royal Ascot, may be meeting Frankel again in the Juddmonte International Stakes.
Farhh, here with Frankie Dettori aboard at Royal Ascot, may be meeting Frankel again in the Juddmonte International Stakes.


Newmarket, England // Farhh has already felt the full force of Frankel's power but Godolphin are sizing up whether to attempt a revenge mission at York Racecourse a week on Wednesday.

Frankel thrashed Farhh by six lengths two weeks ago at Glorious Goodwood but, as the world's highest-rated horse takes the step up to 10 furlongs for the first time for what will be his 13th race, there is a chance Godolphin will leave in their challenger for the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes.

It is unlikely that Farhh can bridge the deficit with his Sussex Stakes conqueror, even over two furlongs farther, and Simon Crisford highlighted that Saeed bin Suroor's charge is also engaged in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on September 8 and the Prix Moulin in France a week later.

"You can't see Frankel being beaten," Godolphin's racing manager said.

"We have to weigh up the decision whether to run Farhh against Frankel for him to finish second.

"If we do decide to race him we decide to do it knowing that he is not going to win, which is unusual for us to make entries along those lines. What we do know is that he needs to race in the next few weeks with his end-of-year target being the Qipco Champions meeting in October either in the mile race or over one mile and two furlongs."

Juddmonte is the breeding arm of Frankel's owner Prince Khalid Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who won the International last year when Twice Over led home stablemate Midday for trainer Sir Henry Cecil.

It was the first time in 22 years of sponsorship of the 40-year-old contest that the Prince had won the race and he is out to ensure that there is no repeat of the drought by letting Twice Over defend his crown.

The dual Dubai World Cup runner has been placed this season behind Questioning and Colombian, both owned by Princess Haya, before finishing third behind Farhh and Nathaniel in the Group 1 Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park Racecourse last month.

"The way he had been working and the tremendous enthusiasm that he has retained, we had to run him," said Lord Grimthorpe, the racing manager to Prince Khalid.

"He is a gent, he is willing and he works to a really good level every time. The thought process behind it all was that Prince Khalid said if nobody takes Frankel on we will support our own race, and why not with the defending champion?"

Nathaniel is unlikely to make the line-up, according to the trainer John Gosden, and Cirrus Des Aigles, the Dubai Sheema Classic winner, is carrying an injury.

With Aidan O'Brien's Camelot set on a course towards a historic Triple Crown instead there are few 10 furlong horses being prepared to prevent another Frankel procession.

St Nicholas Abbey, second to Cirrus Des Aigles in Dubai, was also a confirmed entrant yesterday although O'Brien was hardly talking a good game as the son of Montjeu was third to Danedream in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot last month.

"He had a little bit of a break after the King George and seems well at the moment. We've always thought the world of him - he is a very exciting horse," the Irish handler said. "And we still think he is on the upgrade.

"We're looking forward to seeing him run - and watching Frankel. Frankel is a great horse and it's just a privilege to see him run, really."


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