frankel shaping up nicely
Frankel, Henry Cecil's unbeaten wonder horse, did nothing to dispel the aura which surrounds him when he looked and moved magnificently in a very public workout yesterday.
Dawn had barely broken in Newmarket when, emerging from the half-light, Frankel swept past his two lead horses with a relaxed, consummate ease for jockey Tom Queally. Not all trainers would be quite so accommodating. Cecil's select squad of horses for the QIPCO Champions' Day on October 15, which also included Twice Over, Midday and Vita Nova, were working parallel to the 'between the ditches' gallop, a strip of ground between the Devil's Dyke and another bank historically used by trainers wishing to avoid prying eyes.
While some trainers would still be more prepared to go public with their morning ablutions than they would with their horses' workouts, Cecil has never been averse to pointing out which horse is which to spectators. On this occasion, Cecil's light mood and body language was the biggest giveaway that the morning had been better than satisfactory.
"Getting a horse ready for a race is like trying to catch a train," he explained. "It's better if you're ahead of the game and can ease off a bit, take a pull if necessary. What you don't want is to end up running for the train. Frankel's an active horse, he doesn't take much getting ready. One more piece of work and he'll nearly be there."
Cecil revealed that he has a CCTV feed from Frankel's box into his bedroom. "He's a hot-blooded horse. Sometimes if he's too hot he'll try and pull his sheet over his head. They can break their neck doing that. So I go down and take it off."
He added: "He's coming along very nicely. He's definitely stronger, but he's growing up mentally. Let's hope he's a real champion which we can compare with the best there's been. It's up to me to get him there."