Second generally sucks, but perhaps not when first place has gone to a legend. With Frankel rated 1-4 for the Queen Anne Stakes, which opens Royal Ascot, the latest head to appear above the parapet in the challenge to chase the unbeaten superstar home is Strong Suit's.
The four-year-old, smart and progressive last season but yet to appear this term, sparkled yesterday in a spin under his big-race rider Richard Hughes on trainer Richard Hannon's gallops. His display put his connections in something of a quandary.
"It was as good a piece of work as he's ever done," said David Redvers, manager to the colt's owner, Sheikh Fahad, "but common sense says we're going to Royal Ascot to get a thumping. On the other hand, we believe we've got the second-best miler in Europe, and we have to prove it."
Meanwhile, Australian sprinter Black Caviar is due in Newmarket late tomorrow after a 30-hour trip from Melbourne. The six-year-old, unbeaten in 21 starts, is in Royal Ascot's Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
Chris McGrath's Nap
Hills of Dakota (4.00 Hamilton) Lightly-raced C&D winner. In-form yard expects progress this year.
Rhamnus (6.15 Sandown) Almost caught experienced rival on debut, despite poor draw and slow start. Today's stiff 5f will suit him.
Where the money's going
Englishman, winner of his sole outing in April, cut to 8s from 12-1 for the Coventry Stakes by Coral.