The scare that led to reports over the weekend that Frankel had been retired is over. After a week of concern in which rumour about the nature of the injury sustained on the gallops last Wednesday Sir Henry Cecil’s star charge was given the all clear to resume training.
In the end the injury to Frankel’s off fore tendon that led to some swelling and haemorrhaging turned out to be just a knock, and no serious damage was done. It remains to be seen how much a week on the easy list will change Frankel’s programme in the early part of the season, but connections were hopeful yesterday that he would still be ready for the JLT Lockinge Stages at Newbury next month, as has been the plan all along.
Trainer Cecil said, “I was always hopeful as it didn’t feel like a normal tendon (injury) but you never know. There was so much blood and oedema inside the sheath and you can be wrong. But the scans this morning were 100%, sheath and tendon. He’s in the Lockinge and we’ll just see. I’d love to get him there because I don’t fancy going to Royal Ascot in the middle of June with a horse like him who really needs a race before you get to Ascot against hardened horses on a stiff course.”
The plan to give Frankel a racecourse gallop at Newbury on Saturday has been shelved to give him more time walking and trotting before putting any pressure on the leg. Clearly there are still risks.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for Khalid Abdullah, acknowledged the owner’s elation at the news, but at the same time issued a note of caution. “The Lockinge Stakes has not been ruled out but I wouldn’t say it’s a possible yet. Obviously we just have to see how he goes from now over the next couple of weeks. He has missed a week but he had got a good foundation before that.”