x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Sheikh Fahad Al Thani's twin bid to deny Frankel

The man behind the sponsorship of British elite horse racing could run both Strong Suit and Side Glace in the mile contest.

Strong Suit, right, hasn't run since November.
Strong Suit, right, hasn't run since November.

Sheikh Fahad Al Thani could be dual handed in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot in just under fortnight as he tries seemingly in vain to derail Frankel’s career.

The world’s highest-rated horse has been one of the best publicity vehicles for the Sheikh’s Qipco British Champion Series but the man behind the sponsorship of British elite horse racing could run both Strong Suit and Side Glace in the mile contest in an effort to stop Frankel.

Strong Suit, who hasn’t run since finishing tenth in the Breeder’s Cup Mile in November, worked well yesterday morning and David Redvers, the Sheikh’s racing manager, delivered an upbeat report on the four-year-old colt.

"Strong Suit worked extremely well. Both Richard Hughes [jockey] and Richard Hannon [trainer] were thrilled to bits and believe it is as good a piece of work as he's ever done,” Redvers said.

Strong Suit missed out on a clash with Frankel when ducking the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury last month due to unsuitable going.

With Frankel proving that he had trained on in that race by posting a five-lengths success Redvers is unsure whether taking on the undefeated miler is worth risking Strong Suit's future at stud."All common sense tells you we're going there to get a thumping, but, equally, as sportsmen we really need to have a go, and Sheikh Fahad is certainly a sportsman,” Redvers added.

"We have to weigh up whether getting a thumping at Royal Ascot would be the right thing to do for Strong Suit's prospective stallion career. We believe we've got the second-best miler in Europe, but we've got to prove that.

"One trainer who does not have to worry about stud fees for her flagship horse is Corine Barande-Barbe and the French handler yesterday entered Cirrus Des Aigles into the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes run at Ascot next month.

The Dubai Sheema Classic winner is among an entry of 37 horses for the £1million Group 1 feature, which is run over 12 furlongs on July 21.

Cirrus Des Aigles could well clash once again with St Nicholas Abbey, who was second at Meydan Racecourse, while Camelot, the English Derby winner has also been given a tentative entry.

"We plan to run Cirrus Des Aigles in the King George and he will either run in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot or the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud beforehand,” she said. “I want to see what is entered in both races before making a decision, but there will be good horses in both races.”

Others notable entries are Monterosso, the Dubai World Cup winner, and Danedream, the impressive Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe victor.

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