St Nicholas Abbey: will be taking on Frankel for the first time next weekPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
International clash with Frankel excites O'Brien
BALLYDOYLE supremo Aidan O'Brien said on Tuesday that he is eagerly anticipating locking horns with Frankel when four-time Group 1 winner St Nicholas Abbey lines up in next Wednesday's Juddmonte International Stakes at York.
The five-year-old, who has never raced against Frankel, finished third behind Danedream in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on his last start.
"The Juddmonte was always going to be one of the races that St Nic could run in," said O'Brien. "We were happy with his run in the King George. He relaxed, travelled and quickened really well.
"He had a little bit of a break after the King George and seems well at the moment. We've always thought the world of him - he is a very exciting horse. And we still think he is on the upgrade."
O'Brien added: "We're looking forward to seeing him run at York - and watching Frankel. Frankel is a great horse and it's just a privilege to see him run, really."
Frankel, who is likely to be joined by stablemates Twice Over and Bullet Train in the 1m2½f contest, could renew rivalry with Godolphin's Farhh, who finished six lengths behind the unbeaten superstar in the Qipco Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood earlier this month.
Simon Crisford, Godolphin's racing manager, said: "Frankel is the best horse in the race by a long, long way and if he runs to his form then he will win.
"But Farhh is in good form. We will weigh up the options and he will also get an entry in the Strensall Stakes [Friday, August 24]."