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Queally shrugs off fitness doubts

Tom Queally is confident fitness will not be an issue for Frankel when he returns to action in the totesport.com Greenham Stakes at Newbury.

Following an unbeaten juvenile campaign culminating in a brilliant display in the Dewhurst, Henry Cecil's colt heads the markets for the Qipco 2000 Guineas and the Investec Derby.

Cecil has admitted a slight concern about the readiness of his string at this early stage of the season, with one or two youngsters disappointing at the Craven meeting earlier this week. But Queally believes Frankel is so exceptional, he may not even need to be at his best to make a winning comeback.

"The trial race isn't really going to tell us a lot other than how fit he is and what sort of shape he'd go to the Guineas in. I hope he doesn't have to be fit because then he'll have a lot in reserve, but he's fairly fit and he's had a good preparation," the jockey told Racing UK Radio.

"We've run a handful of horses so far and some are needing the run and others aren't. This horse is quite athletic, so you'd be hoping fitness wouldn't be an issue. We'll get him out, get a run into him and see where we're at."

Queally is unsure whether Frankel has improved or not since his juvenile year, but he is keeping everything crossed that he can keep his huge reputation intact.

"It's a learning curve but we're fairly sure the horse has got an awful lot of ability," Queally continued. "It's a trial race towards the Guineas and you'd like to think that hopefully he'll come out and win it. Win, lose or draw (in the Guineas), we'll judge where to go for the rest of the season based on that performance.

"My gut feeling, judged on what we saw last year, is that if he is the same horse then we're going to have an awful lot of fun with him. It would be nice if he has improved a little. You'd like to see him win his trial and win a Guineas. He has a huge reputation.

"Some people have said to me he won't come off the bridle in the Guineas, but it is a Guineas and it's a Classic. Every horse is a danger at that level. There are horses in there to be reckoned with."

Whatever happens in the first Classic of the season on April 30, the question remains over whether Frankel possesses the requisite stamina to stay the mile and a half of the Derby, and Queally added: "He's a quick horse and he's got gears. If he was to stay, it looks like he'll be the real deal, but who knows?"

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