Frankel returns to action in the Lockinge Stakes

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  • Frankel – the world’s highest rated horse – will make his seasonal debut tomorrow (Saturday, 19 May) at Newbury, aiming for his 10th consecutive victory.

    The unbeaten four-year-old, will race in the Group One Lockinge Stakes over a mile. He is short-priced favourite to make a victorious return to the track.

    Sir Henry Cecil, who trains the Galileo colt, is delighted that his owner, Prince Khalid Abdullah, has decided to race the horse for another season.

    He said: “I’m glad because I think he’s a stronger horse now and hopefully he will be even better.

    “If you have a horse of that calibre, they don’t come along like that every day and they don’t grow on trees.

    “It’s nice to actually see his full potential and the prince has taken that chance.”

    In April this year there were fears that Frankel would never race again, following rumours that a leg injury on the gallops would force him into early retirement. Fortunately after a thorough examination it transpired that the injury was only superficial.

    Sir Henry is confident that the injury will not inhibit Frankel’s future performance.

    “It shouldn’t recur, it’s fine,” he said. “It was just a hiccup you don’t want.”

    Prince Abdullah’s racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe, feels that Frankel must be at his best to triumph tomorrow.

    He said: “Hopefully he’ll bring his A-game to the table. You either bring your best or you don’t bother at all.”

    “What we want to see is a good, solid performance and this is obviously the first stepping-stone on what we hope will be a very good year.

    “His style is his own and we are all very conscious that we have something pretty extraordinary on our hands.”

    Trying to deny Frankel his 10th success are two entries from the Aidan O’Brien stable, one of which is Excelebration, who finished four lengths behind Frankel in the Queen Elizabeth II stakes at Ascot last October, when trained by Marco Botti.

    Frankel has won three other Group Ones – the 2000 Guineas, St James’s Palace Stakes and Sussex Stakes in 2011.

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