Ballydoyle throw down the gauntlet with three to make Frankel run hard
Tuesday 21 August 2012
The Ballydoyle game plan could not be more transparent. However remote the prospect of inflicting a first defeat on the great Frankel, Aidan O'Brien and his patrons have plainly decided to go for the jugular at York tomorrow.
The champion finally ventures beyond a mile in the Juddmonte International Stakes, and the presence of two Ballydoyle pacemakers – among eight rivals daring to stand their ground at the final declaration stage – guarantees him as searching a test as possible over the long straight on the Knavesmire.
St Nicholas Abbey is an established Group One operator at a mile and a half and his twin escorts, Robin Hood and Windsor Palace, will be pouring it on to bring his stamina into play. Eddie Ahern will duly have an important role in giving a sensible lead to the favourite on his own long-serving pacemaker, Bullet Train.
Nathaniel, who had obvious claims to a podium finish, was the only one to drop out yesterday. Having campaigned him very boldly this summer, connections have decided not to push their luck and will keep Nathaniel for the Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown next month.
Likely rivals there include Imperial Monarch, for Ballydoyle, and possibly the remarkable Snow Fairy, who made an astounding comeback from injury at Deauville on Sunday. Unraced since damaging a tendon in Japan last November, she won her sixth Group One prize in the Prix Jean Romanet – prompting deserved tributes from her trainer yesterday.
"It was a truly sensational day," Ed Dunlop said. "She has now won five Group Ones in five different countries, at three, four and five [years old].
"She's a truly phenomenal racehorse and we're very lucky to have her. There were plenty of reasons for thinking it could all go wrong, but Ryan Moore has been very helpful in her preparation. She had three racecourse gallops ridden by him and even he was fairly emotional."
Farhh, Frankel's most recent victim at Goodwood last month, has been declared again tomorrow but retains the option of the Betfair Celebration Mile back at Goodwood on Saturday, should connections decide conditions are unsuitable at York. An intriguing entry at Goodwood is Declaration Of War, unbeaten as a juvenile in France and since transferred to O'Brien.
Chris McGrath's Nap
Watt Broderick (4.15 Brighton) Few miles on the clock and progressing well for his new yard. Was set plenty to do when second last time.
Three Bards (3.05 Yarmouth) Impressive at Newmarket before failure in better field than this at Haydock.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal have 'too many strikers' claims Arsene Wenger, despite admitting Lukas Podolski is 'not a real centre-forward'
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger says he will be 'actively involved' on deadline day... but may not buy a striker despite Giroud injury
Fernando Torres to AC Milan: Jose Mourinho talks up Mattia Destro with Torres on verge of Chelsea exit
Mario Balotelli has been 'spoken to at length' and Liverpool have ensured he lives on Merseyside rather than Manchester
Burnley vs Manchester United: Why Louis van Gaal has been unflustered by United's terrible start to the season
- 3 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 4 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 5 Medina: Saudis take a bulldozer to Islam's history
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
£45000 - £69999 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Algo-Develo...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...
£50000 - £80000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Data Sci...
£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...