Allowing Frankel to set his own pace in the 2000 Guineas proved an inspired decision by Sir Henry Cecil as the horse blazed to victory, but the trainer insists a different strategy will be employed at Royal Ascot.
Frankel is 1/3 in the Royal Ascot odds to win the St James’ Palace Stakes and it is largely expected that the three-year-old will have little trouble extending his 100 per cent winning record to seven races, particularly as he will be competing against horses of his own age.
The latest of these victories was in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, when jockey Tom Queally did not try to hold Frankel up and instead let him run freely in front.
This may have resulted in Frankel establishing a ten-length lead by the halfway stage of the 1m contest, but he had no troubles seeing out the trip to win the 2000 Guineas by the longest distance since 1947.
Despite this strategy paying dividends, Sir Henry has no intention of repeating it at Royal Ascot, although he remains tight-lipped about what the alternative will be.
He said: “The Guineas was not ideal for any horse and we are not planning to do what we did there. I’ve got a plan and the tactics will be different.”
The logical assumption will be that Frankel will be ridden more conservatively and will be encouraged to utilise his long stride to make a late challenge for the lead, rather than having to hold on in the closing stages to repel the fastest finishers.
If Frankel does fail at Royal Ascot, then Excelebration and Dubawi Gold are considered the two most likely to profit.
Excelebration is 8/1 in the St James’ Palace Stakes odds and chased home Frankel in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury in April, while 9/1 shot Dubawi Gold was the runner up in the 2000 Guineas.