Frankel's dual-hemisphere duty gives hope of Black Caviar 'date'
Frankel will cover around 20 mares to southern hemisphere time later this year, Juddmonte Farms indicated, opening the door for Black Caviar to keep a date with the great horse in the breeding shed.
At present, no application has been received for the unbeaten Australian mare, for whom the option of a return trip to Royal Ascot for the King's Stand Stakes in June is under consideration.
Philip Mitchell, general manager at Juddmonte, said it had become accepted practice for stallions based in Britain to cover a limited number of mares in the autumn to coincide with official breeding season in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
In the northern hemisphere, all horses become a year older on January 1, whereas in the southern hemisphere it is August 1.
Frankel has served almost half his first-season book of 135 mares, with 30 already tested in foal. But it is a possible date with Black Caviar that has captured public imagination, with many hailing it as racing's dream mating.
Mitchell said: "We have had a huge amount of interest in Frankel from the southern hemisphere. We have decided to make him available to a very small and select group of mares.
"We have had no direct contact with the owners of Black Caviar, but if at some point they wished to discuss a visit to Frankel, we would be very happy to have that discussion."
Meanwhile, the British Horseracing Authority has programmed a jumpers' bumpers fixture for Southwell on Thursday.
After a spate of recent abandonments and with the cold weather showing no signs of relenting yet, the additional meeting gives National Hunt horses an opportunity to get back on the racecourse.
The seven-race card will be made up of events primarily aimed at steeplechasers and hurdlers.
Trainer Malcolm Jefferson has confirmed stable star Cape Tribulation will end his season in the Betfred Bowl at Aintree on Thursday week.
The nine-year-old booked his place in the Cheltenham Gold Cup with victory in the Argento Chase in January and was far from disgraced in the blue riband, finishing a creditable fifth under Denis O'Regan.
Cheval Rouge is set for a swift return at Cork this weekend after finishing second in the Irish Lincolnshire at the Curragh on Sunday. Harry Rogers' mud-loving mare beat all bar Sweet Lightning in the feature of the first day of the Irish Flat turf season. The Louth trainer is keen to keep Cheval Rouge up to her work while conditions are in her favour.
"She ran a blinder and we were delighted with her," said Rogers. "That ground is important to her and if she's all right she'll more than likely go to Cork on Saturday for a race over a mile and a quarter – that's her trip.
"She could go to the Galway Festival later on if the ground is right as she ran well there last year. We'll keep running as the ground dries up very quickly."
Tomorrow's first meeting of the season at Leopardstown must pass an 8.0 inspection this morning.
Parts of the track are currently unfit for racing following heavy rainfall in the Dublin region. (© Daily Telegraph, London)