Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Frankel to face Strong challenge

In sporting circles, second generally sucks, but perhaps not when the top of the podium is occupied by a legend.

With the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot regarded as yet another formality for Frankel, the only debate seems to be about who will chase the superstar home, the latest head to appear above the parapet that of Strong Suit.

The four-year-old, smart and progressive last season but yet to appear this, sparkled yesterday in a spin under his big-race rider Richard Hughes on trainer Richard Hannon's gallops.

And his display put his connections in something of a quandary.

“Common sense says we're going to Royal Ascot to get a thumping,” said David Redvers, manager to the colt's owner Sheikh Fahad.

“On the other hand, we believe we've got the second best miler in Europe, and we have to prove it.”

Frankel is 1-4 favourite to notch his 11th victory in the opening contest of the Royal meeting.

Epsom Derby winner Camelot, a possible future Frankel opponent, could run in the Irish Derby at the Curragh on June 30, according to trainer Aidan O’Brien.

The King George VI Stakes at Ascot on July 21 is also a possibility for the Triple Crown hopeful.

Roseraie was the surprise 14-1 winner of the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden at Fairyhouse.

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