Frankel Connections Not Swayed By £1m Offer To Take On Black Caviar

Frankel Connections Not Swayed By £1m Offer To Take On Black Caviar


The Guardian reports that a £1m offer has been made to connections of Frankel (Galileo – Kind by Danehill) and Black Caviar (Bel Esprit – Helsinge by Desert Sun) in the hope that it will bring the two horses together in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on 1 August. The move by Qipco, sponsor of the Sussex, represents the most aggressive attempt so far to engineer a clash between the champions of the northern and southern hemispheres, but the immediate reaction from the Frankel camp on Wednesday was that it would not affect their plans.

Although the Sussex Stakes would normally carry prize money of £300,000, Qipco will make that £1m if both horses line up. But the race is over a mile and it remains the case that Frankel is expected to be aimed at 10-furlong races by that stage of the season.

“At the moment the plan is to start in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury and then go to Royal Ascot for either the Queen Anne or the Prince of Wales’s Stakes,” said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Frankel’s owner, Khalid Abdullah. “Depending upon how things develop, we are then considering going over a mile and a quarter for races such as the Eclipse and the Juddmonte, but there’s no need to be making those decisions yet.

“If we were to stay at a mile then running in the Sussex Stakes is a possibility, but I’m afraid the extra prize money is not going to influence any decisions, even though it is a very generous gesture by Qipco and Goodwood, and I can entirely understand why they would want to attract both horses.”

Grimthorpe denied that protecting Frankel’s future value as a stallion would be the foremost consideration in planning his programme. “It’s not simply a question of commercial considerations,” he said. “The principal deciding factor will be to let Frankel show us where he wants to go. Henry [Cecil, the horse’s trainer] will listen to Frankel and let him tell us.”

While Frankel beat Canford Cliffs in last year’s Sussex Stakes, a notable clash in itself that was billed as ‘The Duel on the Downs’, Black Caviar has never raced beyond seven furlongs and will be kept to six furlongs when she turns up at Royal Ascot for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

“If Black Caviar is ever going to run over a mile, it might just be at an easy track like Goodwood,” said Adam Waterworth, Goodwood’s managing director. “We realise that it may well not come off, but if Black Caviar and Frankel are going to clash anywhere, it could well be in this race and it would obviously be fantastic for us if they did so.

“There are some criticisms you can make about this kind of offer, but it’s not a £1m bonus, it’s an addition to the total prize money, so even the horses that finish third and fourth will be big winners. I don’t think it’s unrealistic to think it could happen and if the additional prize money makes any difference, then it will have been worth it. It would be the race of the year and probably the race of the decade.

Black Caviar

“Any racecourse which has a Group One has ambitions to make it a brilliant, must-see race every year and Goodwood is no exception. To some extent last year’s race and The Duel on the Downs fell into our laps, but we’re trying to be a little more proactive this time.”

With the entries for the race closing at the end of May, Waterworth’s first aim will be to ensure that both horses are at least given the option of lining up.

Meanwhile Frankel’s half-brother, Noble Mission, is one of five horses supplemented by Cecil for the Irish Derby on 30 June. The horse is already entered for the Epsom equivalent. Also added to the list of Irish entries is Godolphin’s Swedish Sailor, Noble Mission’s conqueror in a Yarmouth maiden last October.

Maljimar, trained in Devon by Nick Williams and ridden by James Reveley, became the first British-trained horse to land a leg of the Crystal Cup series of cross-country jump races since the series began in 2010, scoring at Fontainebleau.

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