Frankel foal quoted to triumph in Derby

Ruby Walsh celebrates a Cheltenham victory on Big Buck's. Picture: Getty
Ruby Walsh celebrates a Cheltenham victory on Big Buck's. Picture: Getty
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Bookmakers have been swift to price up markets on Frankel’s offspring, with Betfred quoting the first foal at 5-2 to emulate his sire and win on his racecourse debut.

The colt is 33-1 with that firm to win the 2016 Dewhurst Stakes, 40-1 to land the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in 2017 and 66-1 to lift the Derby. Betfred spokesman Andrew Griffiths said: “Frankel’s first-born has huge shoes to fill, but we don’t think he will be a late bloomer with a debut win just 5-2. However, when it comes to breeding horses, even the best-laid plans often go awry, and we make it a 25-1 shot he runs under National Hunt Rules in his career.”

William Hill gave a 4-1 quote that Frankel sires a Classic winner in the UK in 2017. “Frankel’s sons and daughters have the pedigree to succeed and, if they share his powerful traits, then they could be world-beaters,” said William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.

RaceBets make the Frankel-Chrysanthemum offspring an 80-1 chance to win the Derby.

Meanwhile, Ruby Walsh is more keen to see how Big Buck’s performs on his eagerly-awaited return in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday week than debate who should be riding the staying great.

Walsh has partnered the 11-year-old to 16 of his 18 consecutive victories, including his record-breaking four triumphs in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. With Walsh now committed to Willie Mullins, Big Buck’s will have a new rider at Cheltenham later this month and it emerged last week Sam Twiston-Davies would come in for the plum ride.

Trainer Paul Nicholls explained his decision over the weekend, stating he felt number one rider Daryl Jacob saw the ride as “something of a poisoned chalice” as Big Buck’s makes his first appearance since December 2012.

Walsh told Racing UK: “It all depends on how Big Buck’s comes back in the Cleeve Hurdle. If he’s the horse that won in Newbury 14 months ago, it doesn’t really matter who is riding him. He doesn’t take much riding. He’s a very good horse and I’d be more interested in seeing how the horse is. You’d cut your right hand off to ride a horse like Big Buck’s. That’s a choice I made. He’s an exceptional horse, he’s a standard-bearer in jump racing and he’s an exciting ride for Sam Twiston-Davies.”

Looking ahead to the Champion Hurdle, My Tent Or Yours is to have a prep run at either Wincanton or Sandown.

Trainer Nicky Henderson is keen to give the Fighting Fifth and Christmas Hurdle winner another outing ahead of Cheltenham in March, in either the Betfred “Double Delight” Contenders Hurdle at Sandown on 1 February or the Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton two weeks later. “My Tent is very fresh and will need a run. You’d probably look at Wincanton, although it depends on the ground and there’s Sandown as well,” said Henderson.