Champions Series dark horses: Frontispiece
1 Feb 2017
Could The Queen have a Derby prospect in the Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt?
The Queen with Sir Michael Stoute and Olivier Peslier after winning The Hardwick Stakes with Dartmouth at Royal Ascot last summer. Picture:Racingfotos.com
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute
Could the Queen have an Investec Derby challenger in Frontispiece, 64 years after Aureole finished runner-up in the race sporting her famous colours?
The dream is alive after the colt, also bred by Her Majesty, won on his debut under Ryan Moore over 7f at Ascot in September.
Sir Michael Stoute’s two-year-olds usually improve significantly for their first outings, so it was highly encouraging that the son of Shamardal, sent off at 7-1, should keep on stoutly to win by a nose from Make Time after looking booked for a supporting role with two furlongs to run.
The runner-up gave the form a subsequent boost when a wide-margin winner at Salisbury and is another who could feature in this year’s QIPCO British Champions Series.
Frontispiece found the trip on the sharp side at Ascot and James Horton, assistant trainer to Stoute, also suggested afterwards that the good to firm going was plenty quick enough for him.
There can be little doubt that Frontispiece will appreciate stepping up in distance this year.
He will have no trouble staying a mile, while ten furlongs should be well within his compass. A mile and a half? It would be exciting if we were pondering that question at Epsom on June 3.
Stan James quote Frontispiece at 50-1 for the Derby.
— Ascot Racecourse (@Ascot) September 3, 2016