Strong Suit: off the track since running in last year's Breeders' Cup MilePICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Strong Suit camp weigh up merits of Frankel race
STRONG SUIT could face Frankel in the Queen Anne Stakes after completing a piece of work on Wednesday morning that connections said was "as good as he's ever done", but his camp admitted they fear a thrashing if the pair do meet at Royal Ascot.
Strong Suit has not run since the Breeders' Cup last November and missed a clash with Frankel earlier in the season when he swerved a run in the Lockinge. He has not raced Frankel since finishing last in the Greenham before last year's 2,000 Guineas.
And connections admitted the prospect of facing Sir Henry Cecil's unbeaten superstar was causing them to question the wisdom of running in the Queen Anne, with David Redvers, racing manager to owner Sheikh Fahad, admitting his camp feared "a thumping".
Redvers said: "Strong Suit worked extremely well. Both Richard Hughes and Richard Hannon were thrilled to bits and believe it is as good a piece of work as he's ever done.
"The Queen Anne is still the plan, but it's an interesting one. 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."
However, Redvers, quoted by RTE, 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."
There are doubts too over whether Harbour Watch, the former favourite for the 2,000 Guineas who has been off the track for over ten months, will make his reappearance in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The three-year-old did his first serious piece of work this year on Wednesday morning and Richard Hannon jnr told official site richardhannonracing.tv: "That was very encouraging and Harbour Watch is coming along very nicely, but obviously the clock is ticking away with regards to Royal Ascot.
"We would really love to run him in the St James's Palace Stakes, but, though he had done plenty of steady cantering before we stepped him up a gear this morning, time is very tight, and we are under no pressure from the owners to push him for Royal Ascot.
"Harbour Watch is a very good colt and a very valuable one, too, and we will do what is best for the horse. There are plenty of other good races in the second half of the season."
In other Royal Ascot news from the Hannon yard, Tuesday's Leicester winner Jalaa may head for the Chesham rather than the Coventry, which had initially been named as his royal meeting target.
And Tassel, who suffered a setback when finishing last at Salisbury early last month, is back in work and heading for a Royal Ascot run in the Queen Mary Stakes or Albany Stakes.