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Frankel - Ascot - 115/10/2011

Frankel (pink cap) was crowned world champion with a ranking of 136

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

World champion title delights Frankel camp

CONNECTIONS of newly crowned world champion Frankel said on Tuesday it was a "great honour" to receive the title after the five-time Group 1 winner was handed a rating of 136 in the 2011 World Thoroughbred Rankings.

Frankel stormed to awesome  victories in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas, St James's Palace Stakes and Qipco Sussex Stakes before posting a career-best performance in the Qipco-sponsored QEII Stakes on British Champions Day at Ascot last October.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, said: "It is a great honour and it is a credit to Sir Henry Cecil and the Juddmonte breeding operation.

"We have had champions in the past notably Dancing Brave and Oasis Dream but it is still great to receive the recognition."

Grimthorpe said Frankel is likely to reappear at Newbury in May but would be "very unlikely" to clash with 132-rated Australian wondermare Black Caviar.

"The horse is fine and he's trotting at Warren Place and the initial plan remains the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury for him," said Grimthorpe.

"I think it is very unlikely that he and Black Caviar will meet asI would be surprised if she went up to a mile whilst Frankel is going to be mainly campaigned over ten furlongs."

Unbeaten juvenile Harbour Watch, who missed the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes last season through injury, finished 2lb adrift of champion two-year-olds Dabirsim and Camelot on a mark of 117.

Richard Hannon

Richard Hannon: said Harbour Watch could return in April

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker

Harbour Watch, a general 10-1 third-favourite for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas next May, is back to full health according to trainer Richard Hannon, who said he could return in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury in April.

Hannon said: "We are very happy with Harbour Watch now because his x-rays were perfect so we are going on with him quietly. If he comes through and everything goes well he will probably go for the Greenham.

"He is a very high-class horse and we are very happy that he's done particularly well. He looks a picture and is now sound as a bell of brass. The vet is very happy with him so everything is fine."

Joint top-rated juvenile filly Elusive Kate could have her first run of the season in the Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury in April, according to trainer John Gosden.

Gosden added the 116-rated filly, who landed the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp before disappointing at the Breeders' Cup last year, could contest the Qipco 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket, for which she is a top-priced 20-1 with Paddy Power.

"It's great to have a joint top-rated filly in the yardfollowing Rainbow View a few years ago," said Gosden.

"She could run in any of the British, French or Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot. I see her as a miler as she is a powerful filly and will probably go no further than that.

"We may look to start her off in the Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury in April."

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