A bump in prize money may be enough to lure out Black Caviar into a showdown with Frankel at Goodwood this summer.
Qatar royal to raise stakes to tempt Black Caviar and Frankel
London // Sheikh Fahad Al Thani has promised to bump up prize money for the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse to £1 million (Dh5.8m) if it means that Black Caviar and Frankel will run in the Group 1 race this summer.
The mile contest forms the centrepiece of the five-day Glorious meeting in England and is part of the British Champions Series that is sponsored by the Sheikh Fahad's private investment company, Qipco Holding.
The race carried prize money of £300,00 last season when Frankel denied Canford Cliffs and Sheikh Fahad will add a further £700,000 should connections of the world's two highest-rated horses enter their charges for the August 1 clash.
Frankel is unbeaten in nine races in England, while Black Caviar is recognised as the world's best sprinter having won 19 races in Australia.
"In their respective home countries, Frankel and Black Caviar have ignited levels of public interest matched only by true champions of the past," Sheikh Fahad said.
"The sport is blessed to have two such outstanding horses competing at the same time and consequently we felt it would be remiss not to make every effort to try to bring about the race everyone wants to see."
Frankel is set to step up in trip to 10 furlongs, having won four consecutive Group 1 races over a mile last season, culminating in his four-length victory in the British Champions Mile at Ascot in October. He is slated to make his seasonal bow in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury Racecourse next month before stepping up for the Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
"If we were to stay at a mile then running in the Sussex Stakes is a possibility," Lord Grimthorpe, the racing manager to Saudi Arabia's Prince Khalid Abdullah, Frankel's owner, said.
"I'm afraid the extra prize money is not going to influence any decisions, even though it is a very generous gesture by Qipco and Goodwood, and I can entirely understand why they would want to attract both horses."
The Black Caviar camp similarly seemed to offer Goodwood a polite refusal, although the trainer Peter Moody did leave his options open.
"It's a great initiative from the sponsors and it's certainly something we will consider strongly," Moody said.
"We've always thought she would handle 1,600 metres, if not 2,000, but she is such a hulk of a mare so whether she would cope with the training for that is more of a concern than the race.
"This mare has raced in races we thought best suited to her through her whole career and the million wouldn't sway us."
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