Frankel in same league as Nijinsky

Frankel is set to be the hottest favourite for the G1 English 2000 Guineas since wonder colt Nijinsky won the Newmarket classic in 1970.

Frankel was rated Britain’s champion colt last year after an unbeaten campaign that included a G1 victory in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.  

The Juddmonte Farms homebred impressed on his seasonal return in the G3 Greenham Stakes at Newbury and he is currently quoted at 1-2 for this Saturday’s classic.  Nijinsky was a 4-7 favourite when he won in 1970.

His trainer Henry Cecil has won the classic twice with Bolkonski (1975) and Wollow (1976).

Frankel (3c Galileo – Kind by Danehill) finished his preparation for the 2000 Guineas on the Newmarket gallops Tuesday morning.  “I’m delighted with him,” Cecil said.  “It was just a nice canter and we let him go for the last furlong.  I’ll be surprised if he’s not a better horse now than when he ran at Newbury.”

Juddmonte Farms owner Khalid Abdulla also raced his dam Kind and damsire Danehill.  Kind was a Listed winner at Nottingham and Hamilton and her first foal Bullet Train (Sadler’s Wells) was a G3 winner of last year’s Lingfield Derby Trial.

Cecil has also nominated pacemaker Rerouted (Stormy Atlantic) among the 15 horses confirmed for the first classic of the season.  

Frankel’s main challengers are set to be unbeaten Irish colt Pathfork (Distorted Humor) and the Ed Dunlop-trained Native Khan (Azamour).  The latter landed the G3 Craven Stakes over Newmarket’s Rowley Mile on April 14.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien has left three horses in the Guineas with Roderic O’Connor (Galileo) the pick of the trio.  He was runner-up to Frankel in the G1 Dewhurst Stakes and followed up with a G1 victory in the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud.

Stablemates Alexander Pope (Danehill Dancer) is just back from an unplaced run in the G2 UAE Derby and Master Of Hounds (Kingmambo) is reportedly bound for the Kentucky Derby on May 7.

Sheikh Mohammed has two entrants headed by G1 Racing Post Trophy winner Casamento (Shamardal).  The G2 Champagne Stakes winner Saamidd (Street Cry) is his second-stringer.

The Richard Hannon-trained Dubawi Gold (Dubawi) is another candidate by a Darley sire engaged.  He landed a pair of Listed events on the Lingfield all-weather track in March – April.