04/04/2012 12:45PM

Frankel being pointed to Lockinge Stakes at Newbury for 2012 debut


Frankel, the undefeated European Horse of the Year in 2011, is expected to make his 2012 debut in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes over a straightaway mile on turf at Newbury Racecourse on May 19.

A winner of nine races, including seven stakes, and approximately $2.2 million, Frankel, is expected to have a campaign based in England in 2012, and may not start in a Breeders’ Cup race at Santa Anita in November, trainer Henry Cecil said at a press conference earlier this week.

Owned by Juddmonte Farms, Frankel has not started since winning the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Mile Stakes at Ascot last October. Cecil said the Lockinge Stakes would be a prep for a race at Royal Ascot in June, possibly the Queen Anne Stakes over a mile.

Later this year, Frankel could start over 1 1/4 miles on turf in a race such as the Juddmonte International at York Racecourse in August, Cecil said.

Regarding the Breeders’ Cup, Cecil said a switch to a dirt surface may not suit Frankel, a 4-year-old by Galileo.

“The Breeders’ Cup is not ruled out completely,” Cecil said.

“Hopefully, he is going to stand in Europe as a turf horse. I think there is a good chance he will retire at the end of the year.”