Tag Archives: racehorse

Michael Owen wanted by Strictly Come Dancing and I"m a Celebrity

Race to sign Owen hots up – but it's Strictly and I'm a Celebrity doing battle!

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

12:27 GMT, 3 April 2013

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UPDATED:

17:12 GMT, 3 April 2013

Michael Owen may have failed his screen test to head BT Sport’s new analysis team — but the BBC and ITV are still in a fight to sign him up.

It has been reported that the Stoke striker, who has recently announced he will retire at the end of the season, is at the centre of TV battle between the makers of Strictly Come Dancing and I’m a Celebrity.

Both networks are apparently trying to sign for the autumn series of both shows.

Dancefloor or jungle How Owen might look on Strictly (left) and I'm a Celebrity

Dancefloor or jungle How Owen might look on Strictly (left) and I'm a Celebrity

In demand: The clamour to sign up Owen is in full swing

In demand: The clamour to sign up Owen is in full swing

Retiring: The former England striker, now at Stoke, will call it a day next month

Retiring: The former England striker, now at Stoke, will call it a day next month

Owen is to become a BBC television and radio pundit in his retirement, having made occasional appearances on Match of the Day already this season.

BT Sport, who need a marquee signing from the dressing room to head the analysts team for their Premier League coverage next season, could have been expected to jump at the chance to sign such an illustrious footballer as Owen, whose services have been strongly touted to them.

But the word inside BT headquarters in the Olympic Park is that Owen’s ‘monotone’ displays on the BBC have been considered ‘poor’, although it will help Owen’s Beeb future that their lead presenter Gary Lineker has been supportive.

The first confirmed pundit appointment
for Owen is at Royal Ascot. Racehorse owner and breeder Owen is on a
panel of experts who will be giving tips to the 570-a-head patrons of
the prime Bessborough Restaurant on the Thursday of the Royal meeting in
June.

Owen is also planning to launch a player agency business when he retires from professional football at the end of this season.

Frozen out: Owen has had limited first-team opportunities at Stoke

Frozen out: Owen has had limited first-team opportunities at Stoke

Stoke City centre forward Owen, who has previously starred for Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United, will hang up his boots at the end of his season, bringing the curtain down on a difficult few years in which he has sustained several serious injuries that have chronically limited his game-time.

In a blog on his website former England man Owen explained: ‘On July 1, I propose to set up Michael Owen Management Ltd. focusing on guiding young players through their careers and offering them advice at every juncture of what can be a career full of pitfalls.’

Idiot! What Zara Phillips told Mike Tindall when he bought 12k horse at auction (but it"s now a winner and worth 200k)

Idiot! What Zara Phillips told Mike Tindall when he bought 12k horse at auction (but it's now a winner and worth 200k)
Rugby player Mike Tindall bid for racehorse he knew nothing aboutHe did not intend to win the animal at auction with his low bids of 10,000 and 12,000The horse went on to win the Welsh Grand National and a hefty 200k pricetag

By
Mail On Sunday Reporter

PUBLISHED:

22:42 GMT, 19 January 2013

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UPDATED:

01:22 GMT, 20 January 2013

Zara Phillips branded her husband Mike Tindall an ‘idiot’ when he splashed out 12,000 at auction on a racehorse he knew absolutely nothing about.

But the Queen’s granddaughter has been forced to eat her words after Monbeg Dude emerged victorious at the Welsh Grand National – and his value raced to the 200,000 mark.

The former England rugby star explained: ‘I like to bid at auctions without meaning to actually win things. I only went for a bite to eat and a night out. No horse had gone for less than 28,000 so I thought my first bid of 10,000 was pretty safe, likewise when I upped it to 12,000.

Proud: Owners Mike Tindall and Mike Scudamore with their racehorse Monbeg Duke, now worth 200k after an initial 12 pricetag

Proud: Owners Mike Tindall and Mike Scudamore with their racehorse Monbeg Duke, now worth 200k after an initial 12k pricetag

‘I knew nothing about the horse, hadn’t checked the brochure and couldn’t even see the Dude, as I was sitting with my back to the sale ring.’

Fortunately for Tindall, Michael Scudamore – son of champion jockey Peter – and fellow rugby players James Simpson-Daniel and Nicky Robinson agreed to share the burden of the cost.

Scudamore had to make a 30-minute drive from the sale room to his home in Cheltenham so he could pick up a lorry to transport the impromptu purchase.

Athlete: Zara Phillips is known for her prowess in the equestrian field

Athlete: Zara Phillips is known for her prowess in the equestrian field

He said: ‘I drove home, collected the
lorry, drove back to Cheltenham, picked up the Dude and took him back to
the yard. It was past one in the morning before we were done.’

Scudamore admits he didn’t have high hopes for the horse at the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow two weeks ago.

‘I just felt the ground would be too soft, that the course was too demanding and the opposition too experienced,’ he said.

After the success, Dude is believed to be worth 200,000 but Tindall and his friends insist they have no plans to sell him.

Tindall said: ‘Zara will take Monbeg Dude over showjumping poles at home and improve his technique.’

His next racing outing could be at the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.

Tindall said: ‘The soft ground and the undulating course suits Dude well.’

He added: ‘The whole thing is ridiculous. We’re beginning to dream that we might one day do even better than the Welsh Grand National.

‘And it’s all because people didn’t turn up to a sales night and I took their place with no plans to end the evening as an owner with a horse I knew nothing about, or even saw. You couldn’t make it up, could you’ he laughed.

Happy couple: Zara Phillips called her husband an idiot for buying a racehorse without knowing anything it, but now has to eat her words

Happy couple: Zara Phillips called her husband Mike Tindall an idiot for buying a
racehorse without knowing anything it, but now has to eat her words

Wayne Rooney spends 80,000 on racehorses

United's Rooney spent 80k on racehorses last year… but only managed 5k return in winnings

PUBLISHED:

11:55 GMT, 29 December 2012

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UPDATED:

11:56 GMT, 29 December 2012

Despite spending nearly 80,000 on racehorses last year, Wayne Rooney’s investments have only earned him a paltry 5,000 in winnings.

The Manchester United striker’s returns were published in the accounts of Stoneygate 48 Ltd, the company which handles his image rights and other commercial ventures.

Rooney needn’t be too worried about the measly returns from his horse racing investments over the past year, as he is almost 3million up in that one company alone – coupled with his bumper wage packet at Premier League leaders United.

Quids in: Wayne Rooney (right) hasn't made a great initial return from his racehorse investments

Quids in: Wayne Rooney (right) hasn't made a great initial return from his racehorse investments

The company’s accounts show net assets of 2.93million for the year to March 2012 – up from 1.59million the previous year.

It’s not all plain sailing for the 27-year-old though. One of his horses, Switcharooney, ran a disappointing race yesterday at Lingfield, finishing seventh of 11 runners on its debut.

Rooney, who netted twice to help his side prevail in the Manchester derby earlier this month, is hoping United will be able to topple the visiting West Brom at Old Trafford today.

Kauto Star plans for a happy retirement

Kauto plans for happy retirement but doubts are cast over Olympic adventure

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 12 December 2012

The suitability of Kauto Star for a career in the world of dressage should be apparent in less than a fortnight, but talk of him being able to compete at the top level is way off the mark.

That is the verdict of Yogi Breisner, performance manager of Britain’s Olympic eventing team, who with leading event rider Laura Collett will assess the suitability of the five-time King George VI Chase winner.

Breisner said: ‘Kauto Star is not coming to us simply to be made into a dressage horse. He is coming for us to assess his ability to find an active life in retirement.

Dream team: Kauto Star in his new home with Laura Collett

Dream team: Kauto Star in his new home with Laura Collett

‘It will be very basic. I don’t think he will have a long career in competitive dressage, it is more a matter of getting him to be a riding horse rather than a racehorse. It might well be that he is not suitable.

‘After 10 to 12 days, we should be able to say a little bit more about where we are with him and what will be a suitable retirement activity. All this talk about Rio de Janeiro and Olympic medals is a little far-fetched. Doing some low-key dressage or showing might be possible. He has come to us via the Retraining of Racehorses programme. I was approached by (chief executive) Di Arbuthnot and asked if I would advise on what would be suitable for the horse.’

Breisner is well-known in racing, particularly for his work helping to improve the jumping technique of some horses. His equine pupils have included 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Long Run.

Collett, a former European champion at junior and young rider level, is coached by Breisner who explained why she had been chosen to look after Kauto Star.

Change of career: Kauto Star

Change of career: Kauto Star

He said: ‘Laura, apart from being an all-round horsewoman, also regularly rides out racehorses for Lambourn trainers including Oliver Sherwood. She understands the thoroughbred horse and the difference with a riding horse. I thought that was very important.’

Kauto Star was transferred from the stable of his trainer Paul Nicholls to Collett’s Berkshire base on Tuesday after a disagreement with owner Clive Smith about plans for the 12-year-old’s retirement.

The development left staff who had looked after the gelding for almost a decade bitter and upset.

Breisner said: ‘Understandably, when a yard has cared for a superstar or any horse for a long time, they get attached to them.

‘They have done a fantastic job. We exercised him this morning and the way he went was a credit to his team of riders. It was an emotional goodbye but I very much hope that we will be in contact with the staff to keep them updated.’

Racehorses who have moved on to dressage and showing include this year’s Nicholls-trained Grand National winner Neptune Collonges.

But the competition is far removed from the standard at Olympic level with specially-bred horses.

The last thoroughbred to make a GB Olympic dressage team was Christopher Bartle-ridden Wily Trout, who finished sixth in Los Angeles in 1984.

Frankel goes to stud at Banstead Manor Farm

What a stud! 125k-a-time Frankel settles into his new home as he prepares for his career change

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UPDATED:

17:18 GMT, 22 November 2012

It is not often a horse commands a stud fee of 125,000 so Banstead Manor Farm have every right to show off their prize possession.

Unbeaten Frankel was paraded round the grounds before he goes to work.

Rated as the greatest horse in the world, Frankel was expected to stand for around 100,000 after retiring on the back of a 14-race unbeaten career — but his fee was announced last week as 125,000.

A real stud: Unbeaten racehorse Frankel in his new home at Banstead Stud in Newmarket

A real stud: Unbeaten racehorse Frankel in his new home at Banstead Stud in Newmarket

He will be based in Newmarket at owner Khalid Abdullah’s Banstead Manor Farm, where he is pictured in these photos.

Juddmonte Farms general manager Philip Mitchell said: ‘We believe our stallion roster is the best we have been able to offer breeders – and we are very excited with both of our new arrivals.

‘The fee for Frankel reflects his merits as being perhaps the greatest racehorse we have ever witnessed. He is by Galileo, who is now recognised as the best sire in the world, and out of Kind, a winner of six races (from five to seven furlongs) and herself a daughter of one of the most influential stallions in the history of thoroughbred breeding, Danehill.

Expensive business: Frankel will command a stud fee of 125,000

Expensive business: Frankel will command a stud fee of 125,000

Getting used to new surroundings: Frankel settled in his new home

Getting used to new surroundings: Frankel settled in his new home

‘Bated Breath (8,000) will give breeders the opportunity to use a most genuine sprinter who was placed second in four Group One races. Ironically, his father Dansili started his career at the same fee and he also just failed to win a Group One race.’

Dansili and Oasis Dream, Juddmonte’s two previous standard bearers, will stand for 80,000.

Mitchell added: ‘We have made minor adjustments to the fees of our two major stalwarts Dansili and Oasis Dream as we believe both of these world-class sires to be equally successful.’

Frankel stud fee set at 125,000

Frankel stud fee set at 125,000 (well, he is the best horse in the world)

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UPDATED:

15:18 GMT, 14 November 2012

Frankel will stand at stud for a fee of 125,000.

Rated as the greatest horse in the world, Frankel was expected to stand for around 100,000 after retiring on the back of a 14-race unbeaten career.

He will be based in Newmarket at owner Khalid Abdullah's Banstead Manor Farm.

Settling in: Frankel arrived at Juddmonte Farms Banstead Manor Stud last week

Settling in: Frankel arrived at Juddmonte Farms Banstead Manor Stud last week

Juddmonte Farms 2013 fees

Bated Breath – 8,000
Champs Elysees – 5,000
Dansili – 80,000
Frankel – 125,000
Oasis Dream – 80,000
Rail Link – 5,000
Zamindar – 10,000

Juddmonte Farms general manager Philip Mitchell said: 'We believe our stallion roster is the best we have been able to offer breeders – and we are very excited with both of our new arrivals.

'The fee for Frankel reflects his merits as being perhaps the greatest racehorse we have ever witnessed. He is by Galileo, who is now recognised as the best sire in the world, and out of Kind, a winner of six races (from five to seven furlongs) and herself a daughter of one of the most influential stallions in the history of thoroughbred breeding, Danehill.

Curtain call: Frankel won the Champion Stakes in October and retired unbeaten

Curtain call: Frankel won the Champion Stakes in October and retired unbeaten

'Bated Breath (8,000) will give breeders the opportunity to use a most genuine sprinter who was placed second in four Group One races. Ironically, his father Dansili started his career at the same fee and he also just failed to win a Group One race.'

Dansili and Oasis Dream, Juddmonte's two previous standard bearers, will stand for 80,000.

Mitchell added: 'We have made minor adjustments to the fees of our two major stalwarts Dansili and Oasis Dream as we believe both of these world-class sires to be equally successful.'

Frankel settling into new home at Banstead Manor Stud

Frankel's back at start as world's greatest settles into stud where he was born

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UPDATED:

16:18 GMT, 8 November 2012

Feline fine: Frankel meets his new friend at Banstead

Feline fine: Frankel meets his new friend at Banstead

Frankel, the world's highest-rated racehorse, has begun settling into his new home after he left Sir Henry Cecil’s stable and returned to his birthplace, Banstead Manor Stud.

The Newmarket stud, just a few miles from Cecil's stable, will be where Frankel's new career as a stallion for Juddmonte Farms will start next year.

Philip Mitchell, the stud's general manager, said: 'In the foaling unit on February 11, 2008, at 11.40pm, little did we realise that we were witnessing the birth of a phenomenal racehorse.

'The rest as they say is history. And it is now extremely exciting that Frankel will be returning to the Stallion Unit at Banstead, some 500 yards from where he was born.'

Frankel is retired to stud as the winner of all 14 of his races, 10 of which came at Group One level. His glittering racing career came to end when he won the Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 20.

Paying tribute to his champion, Cecil said: 'There is no doubt Frankel has been a brilliant racehorse. I am pretty certain that there has never been a better or more talented thoroughbred.

Greatest: The unbeaten Frankel has been retired to stud back at his birthplace

Greatest: The unbeaten Frankel has been retired to stud back at his birthplace

Greatest: The unbeaten Frankel has been retired to stud back at his birthplace

‘He had the speed to be a champion sprinter and then, once he grew up and settled, he got a distance with a turn of foot that makes champions.

'Today is a sad day in some ways for us as he has given us so much pleasure over the last three years. But I want to thank Frankel for so much – for being such a very special part of my training career. Thank you, Frankel.'

Frankel wins Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot

Fantastic Frankel bows out in style with historic 14th consecutive victory at Ascot

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UPDATED:

16:52 GMT, 20 October 2012

Frankel was at his majestic best as he went in retirement after making it a perfect 14 victories in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot.

The world's highest-rated racehorse, trained by Sir Henry Cecil, won his 10th Group One race with a trademark display of pure brilliance – despite being slowly away from the stalls and running in very testing conditions.

Sent off the 2-11 favourite, Khalid Abdullah's wonder colt took up the running from Cirrus Des Aigles over a furlong out under his ever-present jockey Tom Queally and pulled away from the French raider to win cosily by a length and three-quarters.

Unbeatable: Frankel made it 14 wins from as many races in the Champion Stakes at Ascot

Unbeatable: Frankel made it 14 wins from as many races in the Champion Stakes at Ascot

Frankel factfile

Sire: Galileo

Dam: Kind

Age: Four

Foaled: February 11, 2008

Owner: Prince Khalid Abdullah

Trainer: Sir Henry Cecil

Career earnings: 2,998,302.

Race record: Fourteen wins from 14 starts, including 10 victories at Group One level.

Group One victories: Champion Stakes (2012); Juddmonte International (2012); Sussex Stakes (2012); Queen Anne Stakes (2012); Lockinge Stakes (2012); Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (2011); Sussex Stakes (2011); St James's Palace Stakes (2011): 2000 Guineas (2011); Dewhurst Stakes (2010)

Other notable wins: Greenham Stakes (2011), Royal Lodge Stakes (2010).

Cecil said: 'He didn't like the crowd
much but he was very relaxed. He's the best I've ever had. He's the
best I've ever seen. I'd be surprised if there's ever been any better.'

Abdullah confirmed Frankel had run his last race and would to be retired to stud.

He said: 'That is the end of it and he will retire.'

With Frankel missing the break by a
couple of lengths, Ian Mongan on Bullet Train, Frankel's brother and
regular pacemaker, was left looking for his stablemate.

However, Queally let the horse make up the ground in his own time and join the other five runners.

Meanwhile, Cirrus Des Aigles had gone to the front until Bullet Train went on to do the job he is used to.

Cirrus Des Aigles, rated the second
best in the field, tried to stretch Frankel by going on early in the
straight but the great horse was simply too good.

Nathaniel was two and a half lengths away in third.

Hug it out: Tom Queally grabs hold of Frankel's neck after their impressive victory

Hug it out: Tom Queally grabs hold of Frankel's neck after their impressive victory

This was only Frankel's second race
over 10 furlongs, having stepped up from a mile for the first time at
York in August in the Juddmonte International Stakes, sponsored by his
owner.

His previous 12 victories before that
had come over seven furlongs and a mile, and included the 2000 Guineas
at Newmarket, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at this meeting 12 months
ago as well as the St James's Palace Stakes and the Queen Anne Stakes on
this track.

Forget it: Cirrus Des Aigles ridden by Olivier Peslier (right) had no chance of catching Frankel

Forget it: Cirrus Des Aigles ridden by Olivier Peslier (right) had no chance of catching Frankel

Queally said: 'He's just getting more and more relaxed as time goes on. He waited until the gates were open then he was away.

'I was happy all the way but there's
no doubt he's better on better ground. His class showed today. I walked
the track and I was a little worried about the conditions.

'Having walked it in the home straight I knew it wasn't too heavy for him to quicken up.

Royal approval: The Queen watched Frankel win the Champion Stakes at Ascot

Royal approval: The Queen watched Frankel win the Champion Stakes at Ascot

'You want every angle covered and
everything in your favour, so in that respect there was always a little
worry, but he was in great heart today and he looked a lot better than
he did 12 months ago on this day.

'He was so good today, even on that ground.'

Teddy Grimthorpe, the Abdullah's
racing manager, said: 'He's wonderful. He probably wasn't enjoying the
ground as he normally does, but he's produced it.

'I was quite relaxed when he missed
the break. He did it at York and the great thing is he got into a
rhythm. He wasn't pulling, he was just straightforward.

'He had a trouble-free passage, then
it always looked like he was going to win. He had it under control in
the straight and that is him.

Crowd pleaser: Tom Queally and Frankel pass the stands after winning the Champion Stakes

Crowd pleaser: Tom Queally and Frankel pass the stands after winning the Champion Stakes

'I was reasonably cool, but I began to yell a bit. The crowd's reaction is great – the greatest for the greatest.

'Frankel has brought a whole new
generation of people to the sport. He's brought a wider public
recognition of the sport and he's given them something to savour.

'He's the ultimate equine athlete. We've never seen anything like him.

'Prince Khalid said to me he has run
his last race and I think that is the correct decision – he has given us
three sensational years.'

Eyes down: Willie Carson and Claire Balding take in the action

Eyes down: Willie Carson and Claire Balding take in the action

Eyes down: Willie Carson and Claire Balding take in the action

Going gets tough: there had been worries about the state of the track ahead of the big race

Going gets tough: there had been worries about the state of the track ahead of the big race

Full house: It was no course to see the stadium packed to the rafters

Full house: It was no surprise to see the course packed to the rafters

Odds on: Frankel was the huge favourite to win

Odds on: Frankel was the huge favourite to win

Frankel finale at Ascot under threat due to rain

Rain threat to Frankel's grand finale: Racing world holds its breath ahead of Ascot spectacular

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UPDATED:

22:18 GMT, 19 October 2012

The team behind unbeaten Frankel will walk the course at Ascot on Saturday morning with fears that the world’s best racehorse may have to pull out of his 14th and final run in the 1.3million Qipco Champion Stakes.

Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khaled Abdullah, said: ‘I will be guided by (trainer) Sir Henry Cecil. We would only pull out if we considered the ground unsafe.’

Wonder horse: Frankel storming to victory at Newbury earlier this year

Wonder horse: Frankel storming to victory at Newbury earlier this year

That stage had not been reached on Friday night but more rain had added heavy patches to the soft going and further showers were due.

Cecil concedes Frankel will be going into ‘no-man’s land’ if the ground is heavy in a race run in front of the Queen and a sell-out 32,000 crowd.

The concerns prompted a surge of support for Cirrus Des Aigles on Friday. An estimated 5m will be bet on Frankel, which could cost bookmakers 1m. Bookies say a Cirrus Des Aigles win might cost them twice as much.

Frankel

Frankel

Glory days: Tom Queally celebrates victory on board Frankel this year at York (left) and Newmarket (right)

Cecil has spoken about his excitement ahead of what could be a final race for his wonder horse.

Speaking to Radio 5 Live, he said: 'The adrenalin is going, we've got him so far unbeaten and I'd like him to win at Ascot. He's getting easier, he used to be difficult, used to pull a lot. He's growing up, he's like me a late developer.

One more race Sir Henry Cecil would dearly love Frankel to claim victory at Ascot

One more race Sir Henry Cecil would dearly love Frankel to claim victory at Ascot

'Because he's growing up he's easier to train so what I ask him to do he does it. “He's a better horse, he's an improving horse.

'It's been a great honour (to train Frankel), slightly nerve wracking.'

Frankel pictures: Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment wear famous silks

Frankel fever! Super horse honoured by Queen's guards in countdown to farewell

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UPDATED:

10:36 GMT, 18 October 2012

Whether he bows out unbeaten after 14 races at Ascot on Saturday, or suffers the first – and last – defeat of his career, Frankel is already racing royalty.

And proving he is a true equine aristocrat, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, most famously seen Trooping the Colour at the Queen's Birthday parade, honoured the wonderhorse by sporting his legendary green and pink racing silks during their morning exercise.

The world's greatest racehorse – and, many say, the greatest of all time – retires to become a stallion after the 1.3million Qipco Champion Stakes having already written his name into racing folklore and winning over 2.2m in prize money.

Royal approval: Members of the Household Cavalry wearing Frankel's silks at their Knightsbridge barracks

Royal approval: Members of the Household Cavalry wearing Frankel's silks at their Knightsbridge barracks

Royal approval: Members of the Household Cavalry wearing Frankel's silks

Celebration: The Racing Post honoured Frankel on their front page with the stunning photo

Celebration: The Racing Post honoured Frankel on their front page with the stunning photo

And to celebrate Frankel's success in winning the hearts of the nation, the Racing Post produced the stunning pictures seen above of 18 mounted soldiers wearing the colt's familiar racing colours.

Commenting on behalf of The Household Cavalry, Captain Fred Hopkinson said: 'It was a real honour to be able to wear Frankel’s colours today.

'In our unique role as Her Majesty’s Life Guard we see inspirational human acts on the frontlines and work with these wonderful horses at home.

'Frankel is a horse that embodies all of that grit, courage and flare that we strive for in the Household Cavalry at home and on operations.'

The presence of this year’s Eclipse Stakes winner, Nathaniel, along with French 2011 Champion Stakes winner Cirrus Des Aigles, should ensure a good test for unbeaten Frankel in his 14th and final run.

It will also provide perfect symmetry as Frankel beat Nathaniel half a length on their respective debuts at Newmarket in August 2010.

Up for grabs: The finishing touches are made to the Champion Stakes trophy, to be presented on Saturday

Up for grabs: The finishing touches are made to the Champion Stakes trophy, to be presented on Saturday

Ratings suggest Frankel has a stone in hand of his rivals.

Meanwhile, Sir Henry Cecil is poised to give a debut to Frankel’s half-brother Morpheus at Nottingham on Wednesday.

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