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Frankel all set for his date with destiny

19 Oct 2012

The world's best racehorse faces the toughest task of his career in what is expected to be his final as he looks to defend his unbeaten record against the world number two and the world number four in the QIPCO Champion Stakes.

Frankel, the wonder horse. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

The sporting world will hold its collective breath as 4.05pm tomorrow as the mighty Frankel, unbeaten in 13 races including eight in the QIPCO British Champions Series, lines up for Europe’s richest mile-and-a-quarter race, the £1.3m million QIPCO Champion Stakes.

Four fantastic races lead up to the QIPCO Champion Stakes, but you can bet your life that most racegoers, TV viewers and radio listeners will have only one thing on their mind – can Frankel defy the soft ground and the two toughest rivals that he has ever faced and convince those who still doubt that he is the greatest racehorse we have ever seen?

Up against the Sir Henry Cecil-trained superstar is France’s best horse, Cirrus des Aigles, who is officially the second best horse in the world this year and who won this race a year ago.

He has romped home by eight lengths and nine lengths in his two victories in France this year and he will revel on the soft ground that is assured at Ascot after a very wet week in Berkshire.

Frankel’s other big opponent is Nathaniel, who is the fourth best middle distance horse on turf this year and who finished closer to Frankel than any other horse has ever managed – when they were separated by just half a length on their racecourse debuts in August 2010.

Nathaniel won this year’s Coral-Eclipse and last year’s Betfair King George, as well as finishing a nose runner-up to Danedream in this year’s Betfair King George.

He too will relish really soft ground, a surface that is something of an unknown quantity for Frankel – when he met Nathaniel on their debuts it was soft, but not as soft as they will encounter tomorrow.

So many will be roaring Frankel on tomorrow as he contests what is likely to be his last race before he retires to stud, none more so than his trainer, Sir Henry Cecil.

“I am so lucky to have been allocated Frankel to train," said the ten-times UK champion trainer, who is locked in a battle with cancer, this week.

"He has been an inspiration and challenge, which I really needed so badly.

“Through my illness, I feel that the help from my wife Jane and the determination to be there for Frankel has helped me so much to get through the season.”

A very emotional day lies ahead for all Frankel fans as the great horse promises to generate an elctrifying crescendo to Britain’s richest raceday.

You can follow all the action live on BBC1, BBC1 HD, At The Races and Racing UK, as well as on BBC Radio 5 Live. Whatever you do, don’t miss the QIPCO Champion Stakes at 4.05pm!

For the full race details and list of runners, CLICK HERE.