Hannon: ‘There’s £65,000 for second’
Thursday 26 July 2012
By Ashley Wishaw
The Hannon camp are yet to decide whether to be tempted by the prize-money on offer in the Qipco Sussex Stakes with Strong Suit or to try their hand elsewhere with their triple Group 2 winner.
Strong Suit was left in the Group One mile contest alongside Frankel and nine other rivals at today's latest confirmation stage, but with Frankel’s reputation likely to scare off potential challengers the chances of picking up some easy prize-money appeals.
Although Strong Suit could only finish eighth behind Mayson in the July Cup at Newmarket the performance on unsuitable going was enough to lead Richard Hannon junior to consider the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville next month for his four-year-old.
The Deauville race, run over six and a half furlongs, carries Group One status and with at least on eye on a stallion career for Strong Suit the Hannons may well cross the channel with their four-year-old.
“Do I think we are going to beat him? No, absolutely not,” Hannon junior told Racing UK. “There is £65,000 for being second. A lot of people will run elsewhere and leave it open. But we really want to win a Group One with him, and that is why he was bought for by Pearl Bloodstock and to do that there is no point in taking him on.
“He ran a blinder in the July Cup. It was a fact finding mission for us and the horse – more than anything. He didn’t like the ground. We’ve left him in the Lennox and Sussex to give us options but we’ll probably go the Maurice de Gheest.”
In two meetings Frankel has beaten Strong Suit by a total of 32 lengths and such is Frankel's dominance that Coral have installed the world's highest-rated horse as their 1-20 favourite. Paddy Power are 1-10.
Frankel will face a maximum of seven rivals on Wednesday.
Sir Henry Cecil's four-year-old recorded his 11th win from as many starts in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot and it is hardly surprising that potential opposition is thin on the ground.
For what could potentially be Frankel's final start over a mile, with next month's 10-furlong Juddmonte International at York on his agenda, he is once again set to be joined by his three-parts brother and regular pacemaker Bullet Train.
Following excellent performances in defeat in both the Prince Of Wales's Stakes and the Coral-Eclipse over a mile and a quarter, Godolphin's Farhh has been supplemented and is poised to come back in distance to take on the world's highest-rated racehorse. The Dubai-based operation were required to put forward £19,500 to enter the Thirsk Hunt Cup winner.
Aidan O'Brien could be represented by Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Power, Jersey Stakes heroine Ishvana and Reply.
Gabrial from the Richard Fahey stable completes the confirmations.