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Frankel receives Aussie invitation

ESPN staff
June 8, 2012 « London 2012 just the start for GB basketball | Chartbeat test »

Frankel has been invited to race in Australia at the prestigious Sportingbet Cox Plate, but trainer Sir Henry Cecil is focused on a showdown with double Classic winner Camelot later this summer.

Cecil is unlikely to follow the lead of Peter Moody, trainer of Australian superstar flat racehorse Black Caviar, and transport his charge halfway around the world for the £1.9 million contest. Nevertheless, the invitation is a testament to Frankel's reputation as the best racehorse in the world.

"Frankel is widely regarded in the northern hemisphere as a once-in-a-generation champion thoroughbred," Moonee Valley Racing Club chairman Bob Scarborough said. "All of his victories have been dominant, and he is clearly better than the current crop of UK middle distance horses.

"Just as Black Caviar has accepted the challenge to step out of her comfort zone and travel halfway around the world to prove that she is without peer in the sprinting ranks at Royal Ascot, I am hopeful that the connections of Frankel will accept our invitation to travel to Melbourne to contest the weight-for-age championship of the southern hemisphere - the Sportingbet Cox Plate."

For now, however, Cecil has his sights set on a clash between Frankel and Camelot, winner of the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Epsom Derby in 2012.

And the Newmarket trainer believes the Juddmonte International at York in August would be the most likely chance for the colts to put their unbeaten records on the line.

The race, sponsored by Frankel's owner Khalid Abdullah, would see Frankel stepping up in trip from a mile, while Camelot would be dropping down in distance after his impressive Derby win.

"If he [Frankel] comes through these next two races all right, the Juddmonte would be more interesting," Cecil said. "He'll be going another two and a half furlongs and he'll be up against different horses, so it will be much more exciting, not for me but for other people."

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