Japanese trainer thinks he can beat Frankel at Royal Ascot
It is virtually impossible to see Frankel losing over 1m to any other three-year-old, but a Japanese trainer believes that he has a horse that can do the unthinkable at Royal Ascot.
Frankel’s odds are 1/3 to win the St James’ Palace Stakes on the opening day of Royal Ascot and based on what has been seen so far, this should prove a procession.
Henry Cecil’s horse has already won the 2000 Guineas by the biggest victory margin since 1947 this season and his current unbeaten run stands at six races.
Indeed, the only way that it appears on the surface that he can be beaten over 1m is if he takes on his elders, with Goldikova and Canford Cliffs in particular liable to at least present a bigger challenge than Frankel has faced so far.
Dubawi Gold, Excelebration and Fury are among the horses to have already finished adrift of Frankel this season and will be among the leading fancies to finish second.
However, Yoshito Yahagi believes that he trains the best three-year-old miler in Japan with Grand Prix Boss and that he can lay down a substantial challenge to Frankel in the St James’ Palace Stakes.
Yahagi said: “He loves the environment here in Newmarket. He is doing very well and is relaxed. Everything is going to plan. It’s very prestigious and not many owners have the chance to have a runner at Royal Ascot. We can be very proud.
“Frankel is very famous among the Japanese racing fans and we don’t have many chances to run against those kind of great horses. The Japanese racing fans are expecting us to be competitive as possible.
“If we thought Frankel was unbeatable, we wouldn’t have come here.”
Grand Prix Boss ran on well to win at Tokyo on his latest start last month and is 12/1 in the Royal Ascot odds to win the St James’ Palace Stakes.