Frankel trainer Sir Henry Cecil relaxed by Ascot ground

Qipco Champions Day, Ascot

  • Venue: Ascot racecourse
  • Date: Saturday 20 October
  • Race times: 13:45-16:45 BST. 16:05 Frankel in Champion Stakes

Coverage: Live on BBC TV and BBC Sport website 1330-1630. Commentaries on BBC Radio 5 live

Trainer Sir Henry Cecil has said the possibility of soft ground at Ascot will not hamper Frankel's Champion Stakes chances as the four-year-old attempts to make it 14 wins out of 14.

The unbeaten colt has not run on ground described as soft since his debut victory at Newmarket in August 2010.

"I don't mind if it is slightly on the soft side," Cecil told BBC Look East.

"If it's very heavy, you can be in no man's land. Soft ground won't bother him at all."

Frankel factfile

  • Trainer: Sir Henry Cecil
  • Jockey: Tom Queally
  • Owner: Khalid Abdullah
  • Races: 13 Wins: 13
  • Prize money: £2.26m

He added: "The adrenaline is going. We've got him so far unbeaten. I'd like him to win at Ascot."

The going at Ascot was soft on Tuesday and Frankel is expected to face his toughest test in what is likely to be his last ever competitive outing on Saturday.

John Gosden's Nathaniel and defending champion Cirrus Des Aigles - who won well in France on heavy ground last time - are both seen as contenders, but Frankel remains the strong favourite for the Group One race.

"I don't think the ground is a worry," said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for owner Khalid Abdullah.

"He's encountered good to soft and good to firm and handled that well - I wouldn't think soft would be that much of a problem.

"Shane [Featherstonhaugh, work rider] got off him the other day and it was pretty soft and said he handled it pretty well."

Cecil has said the world's top racehorse is becoming easier to train and has revealed he shares a reputation for being a late developer with his star performer.

"He's getting easier," said the Newmarket trainer. "He used to be difficult and used to pull a lot.

"He's growing and, like me, he is a late developer."

Cecil, 69, enjoyed early success in his career, but lacked a Group One winner between June 2000 and November 2006.

His return to form - the "late development" - and the ongoing loyalty of Prince Khalid Abdulla, have seen him take 22 Group One victories in the last six years, with the bulk captured by Midday, Twice Over and Frankel.

Queally will miss Frankel

And while Frankel's progress on the track has seen him achieve a series of impressive wins, the four-year-old has enhanced his reputation in Cecil's Warren Place stables.

"Now that he's easier to train, when I ask him to do something, he does it," said Cecil, who continues to battle with stomach cancer. "He doesn't do his own thing. He's a better horse - an improving horse.

"He seems in very good form. He seems better than ever. We're on track. He seems great at the moment."

Jockey Tom Queally, who has ridden Frankel to every one of his previous 13 successes, is anticipating an historic day at Ascot, but admits he has yet to comprehend the enormity of the horse's accomplishments.

"He's been an amazing part of my career and my life," he said. "When you're that close to it all, it's hard to grasp it. I try and get the gist of what's going on but it's amazing.

"He's raised my profile. I probably won't understand it all until 10 years down the line. No other jockey will ever get to sit on anything half as good. I'm very fortunate and privileged."