It is the race that every racing fan is dreaming about. The possible clash between Henry Cecil’s unbeaten Frankel and Australia’s record-breaking mare, Black Caviar. At this stage it has to be said that it remains unlikely that their paths will cross. Frankel’s connections are anticipating stepping him up beyond a mile this season whilst Black Caviar is yet to race beyond seven furlongs.
Racing fans were relieved to hear that, contrary to rumours, Frankel’s recent injury was not serious and he has not been retired. He is now back in full training and Cecil hopes to have him ready for the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on 19th May. A lot of questions will be answered there about Frankel’s well being and also his race programme for this season. Should Cecil stick to his original plan of moving up to a mile and a quarter, the prospects of meeting Black Caviar would be remote.
Black Caviar is seeking a World record twentieth consecutive win at Morphettville on April 28th and has a massive following in Australia. She has won over £3million in prize money and has simply breathtaking speed. Although connections have expressed an interest in coming over for Royal Ascot in the summer, it is more likely to be for the six furlong Diamond Jubilee Stakes than for the one mile Queen Anne. If you have the best spring mare in the World, without question, why would you want to risk taking her across the World to take on the best miler over his best distance in his own country?
After Frankel’s blistering run in the 2,000 Guineas last season, it is hard to imagine that anything could lay up with him. But he learned to settle better as the season progressed and even appeared to be starting to idle in front on his last start. Cecil has always believed that he would get a mile and a quarter and thought long and even considered the mile and a half of the Derby last season. Training racehorses involves a lot of skill and patience and it is difficult to imagine either trainer being willing to commit to a race that did not fit into their horse’s programme. The reality is that they are two different racing machines and the best we can hope for is that we have the opportunity to witness both of them at the Royal meeting.