Henry Cecil’s potential superstar, Frankel heads the list of 52 entries for this year’s opening classic of the season, the Newmarket 2000 Guineas.
Cecil is bidding to end a 35 year wait in the race, having been successful with Bolkonski in 1975 and Wollow 12 months later. The trainer has rated Frankel as their equal after an unbeaten juvenile campaign that saw him rated the joint-champion two-year-old in Europe with Dream Ahead.
Frankel’s four starts as a 2-y-o included victories in the Group Two Royal Lodge Stakes, which he won by 10 lengths, and the Group One Dewhurst Stakes. The Dewhurst Stakes was supposed to decide the champion two-year-old as it brought together Frankel, who had won the Royal Lodge Stakes by 10 lengths, and Dream Ahead, a nine-length winner of the Middle Park Stakes, and the Champagne Stakes winner, Saamidd.
However, both Dream Ahead and Saamidd failed to perform and Frankel could the honours. Cecil is pleased with the way his stable star has progressed through the winter:
“So far, Frankel is pleasing me. He has grown, seems to have matured mentally and settled down.”
Dream Ahead’s trainer, David Simcock, is looking forward to a rematch in the Guineas:
“Physically, I couldn’t be happier with Dream Ahead. He’s had a very, very good winter – he looks fantastic. He has matured, put a lot of weight on in the right places and he has started his training very well. He’s doing two canters up Warren Hill with his lead horse and everything is very much on course for the 2000 Guineas. He’ll go straight there. I’m quietly confident that he will see out a mile. It’s something that we won’t know until we’ve tried. The Dewhurst wasn’t his day, it certainly wasn’t his running – and you will see a different horse in April.”