Frankel by a Mile

Uninformed media predictions of a possible clash between champion sprinter Black Caviar and Frankel next year were given short shrift by trainer Sir Henry Cecil on Tuesday.

Cecil’s program for Frankel in 2012 indicates there’s a strong chance the wonder colt will more than likely clash with So You Think instead.

Frankel (Galileo) is unbeaten in 9 starts from 1400m to 1600m and he will return to racing in the G1 Lockinge Stakes over 1600m at Newbury in May.

Bookmakers have priced Frankel a long odds-on favourite at 1/8 for the 2012 Lockinge Stakes while So You Think is at 5/1

Ballydoyle trainer Aiden O’Brien suggested So You Think (High Chaparral) will be dropped back to 1600m next year after his failure in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (2000) earlier this month.

“Frankel has had a great year and is hugely exciting,” Cecil said.  “He really has caught the public eye and hopefully he will eventually be ready to tackle a mile and a quarter (2000m) in the Eclipse Stakes in July.

“Personally I think it is a distance he will get well now that he has learnt to settle better and he could be an even better horse at that trip.

“Let’s hope he winters well and remains sound.  Racing needs champions and let us pray that he can continue where he left off.”

Sir Henry was speaking after being formally Knighted by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.

A 10 time champion trainer, Cecil has been a resurgent force in recent years after battling serious health problems.  He was given an emotional three-cheers at Goodwood in July after Frankel scored a superb victory in the G1 Sussex Stakes.

Apart from Frankel, his Warren Place stables at Newmarket housed Group 1 winners Midday, Twice Over and Timepiece in 2011.

Following his investiture ceremony, Cecil received another fillip when Frankel was named 2011 Cartier Horse of the Year at the Dorchester Hotel in Mayfair on Tuesday night.