26th March, 2012 - Posted by Elliot Slater - Comments Off
As if a return to racecourse duty in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes as a four-year-old for the world’s greatest racehorse Frankel wasn’t enough, it is looking increasingly likely that Strong Suit, himself a very smart performer could begins his campaign in the coveted Newbury race on May 15, writes Elliot Slater.
Sir Henry Cecil has already pencilled in the mile contest at the Berkshire track as the likely starting point this campaign for his unbeaten colt, and now champion trainer Richard Hannon has suggested that he might have another crack at Frankel, having seen only a rear view of Prince Khaled Abdullah’s horse when the pair met at the same course last year in the Greenham Stakes, a contest in which Strong Suit ran poorly and was subsequently found to have breathing difficulties. Those looking at the latest online horse racing betting odds will have been disappointed by the news.
Whilst Frankel went on to set the world alight with a series of sensational performances throughout last summer, Strong Suit returned to the fray a rejuvenated character after surgery and duly won the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot before being beaten in a photo-finish to the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly in July. After beating Red Jazz in the Group 2 Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, the Rahy colt had a mid-season break after which he returned with a vengeance to beat Chachamaidee in the Group2 Burj Khalifa Challenge Stakes at Newmarket in October, romping away to victory by four-and-a-half-lengths.
Things went wrong at the start in the Breeders’ Cup Mile on his only other outing last season, but the Hannon team has always insisted that Strong Suit would not be out of place taking on Frankel again, even though they appreciate the enormity of the task facing their runner. Having won the race with both Paco Boy and Canford Cliffs in recent seasons Hannon is hoping that his luck will hold in this season’s renewal of the Lockinge Stakes.