Lord Grimtorpe and Tom Queally
Will connections be in the winners enclosure for the 13th time?

Frankel lines up in the Juddmonte International at York tomorrow – will his 13th race be the end of his unbeaten record? 

Connections have long held this engagement in Frankel’s diary and as Sir Henry Cecil commented earlier in the season the extra two furlongs may actually see him improve. The tiny glimmer of hope that this new distance presents  for others has attracted a classier and more quality field than he faced at Glorious Goodwood. Farhh re-opposes but at a distance that suits him better, but more importantly O’Brien has a real test for the master in his challenger St Nicholas Abbey. Frankel’s connections also run the useful Twice Over and the ubiquitous pacemaker Bullet Train in the race that they sponsor. With Marco Botti in such great big race form there is also some chance that Planteur will regain his form of previous seasons. In a normal race these would be worthy group one competitors but with his presence he is likely to make them look simply pedestrian. As Nick Luck said at Glorious Goodwood, “How privileged we are to be living in the time of one of the greatest”

Quoted as short as 1/8 with some firms the value looks certainly in the place bets. Ladbrokes provides the best prices with – St Nicholas Abbey 11/2, Farhh 14/1, Twice Over 20/1, Planteur 40/1 (Hills 50/1) and Sri Putra 66/1.

Crockford’s prediction:

1 Frankel
2 St Nicholas Abbey
3 Planteur

Let’s hope that Sir Henry will be well enough to saddle his hero and welcome him back into the winners enclosure tomorrow – if he does  there will not be a dry eye in the house.

(Photograph – Lord Grimthorpe & Tom Queally at Glorious Goodwood 2012 by Stuart Rice)