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FRANKEL with T Queally gallops at Newmarket 29-9-12. Copyright Martin Lynch.

Frankel: Champion Stakes remains target even if ground comes up soft

  PICTURE: Martin Lynch (  

Soft ground would not stop Frankel running

SOFT ground at Ascot would not stop Frankel from seeking to cement his place in racing legend with a 14th straight victory in what is likely to be his final race in the Qipco Champion Stakes.

That was the message from connections, against the background of a typical autumnal weather forecast in the build-up to British Champions Day on Saturday week.

The going at Ascot was described as soft on Monday, a surface Frankel has not encountered since his debut defeat of Nathaniel at Newmarket more than two years ago.

That, combined with Nathaniel's likely participation after being scratched from the Arc and Cirrus Des Aigles's nine-length victory at L ongchamp on Saturday, resulted in Frankel being available to back at 1-4 on Betfair.

The world's highest-rate d horse is generally 1-10 with those bookmakers betting on the Champion, with Cirrus Des Aigles and Nathaniel cut to 9-2 (from 5) and 6-1 (from 7) by bet365 on Monday.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Frankel's owner Khalid Abduallah, said soft ground would not stop the four-year-old from seeking to light up Champions Day for the second year in a row and put the seal on a remarkable career.

Only extreme conditions would raise the possibility of Frankel not running, and Grimthorpe said: "Frankel is fine and hopefully it will be a good race. I cannot say he'll race come what may.

"If the ground worsened we would look at it and make a decision. But I don't think he would be unduly worried by soft ground."

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