Warning signs of brother's debut
If their trainer is right, in venturing that Frankel might even relish the new conditions awaiting him at Ascot on Saturday, then the debut of Morpheus at Nottingham yesterday suggested that no such disposition can run in the family.
The champion's two-year-old half-brother by Oasis Dream had a number of alternative mitigations for the way he laboured into seventh in a mile maiden: immaturity, inexperience, a failure to settle in the early stages. Never mind that Morpheus will do well to disclose even half the ability of Frankel during the remainder of his career.
On the face of it, his palpable exhaustion in the straight looked an uncomfortable template for Frankel's first experience of extreme ground in the Qipco Champion Stakes. But the bottom line remains that Frankel's sheer prowess would make him seem less vulnerable in deep going than if he depended solely on glitzy acceleration.
In the bigger picture, the seasonal likelihood of poor going was only one of several reasons why the scheduling of this meeting has invited controversy. But the organisers were none the less relieved at least to suspend that debate, when blessed with extraordinarily clement conditions for its inauguration, last year.
As it happens, the forecast towards the end of the week looks more promising, but the Ascot clerk of the course admitted that a further band of rain, anticipated overnight, might require him to amend the going on the round course from "soft" to "heavy" in places.
With conditions playing to his proven strengths, Cirrus Des Aigles was trimmed to 9-2 from 5-1 by Coral yesterday. Frankel remained 1-6, but was trading at 2-7 on Betfair.
Latest in Sport
- 2 Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
- 3 Picture of couple posing with beached dolphin 'that later died' causes outrage
- 4 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
- 5 Arsenal fan asks the Queen for tickets to the FA Cup final - gets a reply from Buckingham Palace
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...