A STAGGERING £1m prize fund has been offered to lure two of flat racing’s unbeaten superstars into a summer showdown at Goodwood.
Qatari investment firm Qipco and Goodwood Racecourse have dangled the cash if Australian challenger Black Caviar travels to take on Henry Cecil’s Frankel in the one-mile Sussex Stakes on 1 August.
Frankel is unbeaten in nine starts and has already won five Group One races, including last year’s Sussex Stakes, while Black Caviar equalled the Australasian record with her 19th consecutive win in February’s Coolmore Lightning Stakes over five furlongs.
Black Caviar’s trainer Peter Moody is already considering a trip to Britain this year, with one eye on the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot and the July Cup at Newmarket, both of which are over six furlongs.
The mare has only run once over seven furlongs and is still untested at eight, and Moody told Sky Sports yesterday that the money wouldn’t tempt them out of their comfort zone if the horse isn’t ready for the challenge.
“I’m probably a bit like Henry Cecil, it doesn’t worry me one way or another [who people think is the best horse]. It is just opinion,” Moody said.
Neither Frankel or Black Caviar will probably meet outside of our comfort zones. We don’t have a great need to meet Frankel but don’t read that as us being afraid of him. It would be great for the sport but not detrimental to either horse if it didn’t happen.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Frankel’s owner Khalid Abdullah, described the incentive as a “very generous gesture” but similarly said that it would not determine their plans for the horse this season.
By August, Frankel’s connections hope to have him racing over 10 furlongs with a view to challenging for the Eclipse and Juddmonte Stakes later in the summer.
“If we were to stay at a mile then running in the Sussex Stakes is a possibility,” Grimthorpe said (The Guardian), “but I’m afraid the extra prize money is not going to influence any decisions.”