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.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Latest in Sport
- 2 Scottish independence: What you shouldn't tweet about if you want to avoid jail today
- 3 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 4 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 5 Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...
£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...