Champions Day Lives Up To It's Name
Next years’ Champions Day will be held for the first time at Ascot but it will take something very special to upstage what took place on the Rowley Mile yesterday afternoon.
The one man who made it such a memorable occasion, Henry Cecil, has become something of a racing institution and saddling the winners of yesterday’s two Group 1 contests must rank as one of his greatest achievements in what is a long and illustrious career.
In the Galileo colt Frankel, Cecil has the ammunition that most trainers would kill for, regarding next seasons Classic races.
Unbeaten in four races and widely regarded as one of the best juveniles seen over the last twenty years, Frankel is now as short as 4/5 for the 2011 2000 Guineas, and a best price 5/4 with Skybet, Bet365 and Ladbrokes, who are offering new customers a free £60 bet when staking an initial £30.
Cecil says of his new stable star: ” I have never had a horse, two-year-old, work like him. The last horse I remember like this was Arazi, who was similar in some ways.”
A trip to Newbury for the Greenham Stakes is the likely plan next April, before heading to Newmarket for Classic glory.
The trainer is uncertain about the extent of the horses’ stamina saying: ” I’m not clever enough to go for the Guineas without a prep. I don’t trust myself. I am not going to try and make him into a Derby horse if he’s not going to stay.”
Cecil achieved his second Group 1 of the day in the Emirites Airline Champion Stakes with last years victor Twice Over, of whom he says: ” He is my favourite horse.
” I was very pleased with him going into the race and it’s lovely when things go well. He has become a member of the family. The prince adores him and I adore him, too.”
Flat racing may never capture the heart of of the racing public in the same way that it’s jumping counterpart does on a regular basis, but yesterday a certain Henry Cecil and two wonderful thoroughbreds came pretty close.