An ultrasound scan of the soft tissue in Frankel’s off-foreleg will determine whether the 4-year-old colt can resume his undefeated career that has seen him earn official endorsement as the best racehorse in the world.
Concern for Frankel (Galileo –Kind, by Danehill), whose off-fore was inflamed after a gallop in Newmarket April 11, is focused primarily on his tendon. X-Rays taken immediately after the incident showed he had sustained no bone damage but the tendon scan has had to wait until swelling in his foreleg subsides.
The result of that scan is expected “towards the second half of the week (April 16-20),” according to Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Frankel’s owner, Prince Khalid Abdullah.
“His bone is clear,” Grimthorpe said April 16. “If that was the issue, we would be more relaxed about it as we would know it would heal over time. Soft-tissue injuries are different; they are often more problematical.”
Nevertheless, Frankel’s connections remain hopeful the colt will recover sufficiently to build on his nine career victories to date.
“We are still positive,” Lord Grimthorpe said. “Henry (Cecil, who trains Frankel) has a lot of experience and he suggests the horse might well be OK, although the situation is a little like being a bit pregnant. If anything shows up, a little hole (in his tendon) is as bad as a big one. There is nothing for it but to wait and see what the scan shows.”
Frankel was due to work at Newbury racecourse April 21 ahead of his scheduled reappearance at that venue May 19. That will not now happen, although in the event of a clean scan, connections have not ruled out taking the colt to Royal Ascot in June.
"Everything remains open,” Grimthorpe said. “Obviously he must wait for the scan, and if that is positive Henry (Cecil) will consider the best way to go forward. Frankel had done some good work before his mishap. He is not miles behind the ballgame in terms of fitness.”
Named for the late California trainer, Frankel swept the board in an outstanding 3-year-old season. He won four consecutive group I races, opening with the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas Apr. 30 and closing with the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO) Oct.15 – after which connections elected to keep him in training for a 4-year-old campaign.
He is the top-ranked horse on the "World Thoroughbred Rankings."