%ALT_TXT%% Greenham Stakes 2011  

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By Billy Blakeman ValueChecker

Frankel Romps Home in Greenham Stakes

1 Frankel 1/4F
2 Excelebration 25/1
3 Shropshire 18/1
6 ran Distances: 4l, 6l, 1½l
TIME 1m 24.60s (slow by 1.60s)

Henry Cecil was on a bit of a hiding to nothing ahead of Saturday’s Greenham Stakes as his Guineas favourite Frankel was sent off at no bigger than a 1-4 shot.

© Racehorse Photos


Given the master trainer was at pains to point out that Frankel was far from fully tuned-up, for what is at the end of the day a prep-race, then defeat was not out the question but whatever the preconceptions, Frankel effectively wrote Sunday’s headlines in a manner that left little to interpretation.

As was the case last year, he was a little headstrong but when asked to go and win his race by Tom Queally, the response was decisive and the 4-length victory was well deserved.

A relieved Cecil told the press; This will have taught him something. I said beforehand that whatever he did today, he would come on for it, and he has had a good blow. Hopefully he will be spot-on for the Guineas."

Continuing, Cecil said “They didn't go enough of a pace early on, but he did everything I asked and I'm satisfied. Tom said the hardest thing he had to do was pull him up. I haven't dared work him on the grass as it has been too fast and he has done everything on the all-weather. Tom said he felt 80% today. Hopefully after two or three more pieces of work in the build-up to the Guineas he'll be much nearer 100%. I couldn't have done any more than I have in his build-up anyway."

Jockey Tom Queally added: "He did it well, I think it's fair to say our pacemaker wasn't quick enough, but he did it nicely. I gave him one or two smacks as he will probably get one the next day. He relaxed fine, dropped the bit and when I gave him a bit of rein he did it well.

For historians, Cecil last won the 2,000 Guineas with Wollow in 1976, also a winner of the Greenham Stakes that year.

Betting wise, all firms were impressed and 4/6 is the best price on offer this evening with one firm as low as 4/9. I would prefer to be putting up a nice outsider but barring accidents or incidents, I find it very hard to look beyond the odds-on favourite and Frankel is a strong fancy for the Qipco-sponsored Classic two weeks from now.


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