Frankel can’t faze eager rivals

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THE entries for day one of Royal Ascot on Tuesday are out, and the meeting will kick off with a bang.

Eleven rivals have stood their ground against Frankel in the first race of the five-day fixture, the Queen Anne Stakes

Frankel is a long odds-on favourite for the Group One curtain-raiser but his presence has failed to scare off potential rivals, with plenty of prize money on offer for the places in the mile contest.

Stablemate, close relation and regular pacemaker Bullet Train, also numbers among the 12 entries, while Aidan O’Brien looks set to ask some stern questions of the world’s highest rated horse.

The master of Ballydoyle has handed entries to Excelebration, who proved no match for Sir Henry Cecil’s unbeaten star in the Lockinge, and former Australian superstar and multiple Group One winner So You Think, along with Windsor Palace. Andrew Balding is set to run his impressive Epsom winner Side Glance, while the former Italian star Worthadd could re-oppose, having failed to take to the cambers on the Downs.

Andreas Wohler’s Indomito adds further European flavour to the mix, which has an extra antipodean feel with Godolphin handing an entry to former Australian campaigner Helmet, a winner of three Grade One races.

Premio Loco, Red Jazz and Strong Suit complete the entry.

Perhaps the reason for so many taking on Frankel is the kudos – and stud cash – to be gained from having Frankel on an equine c/v.

Aside from three Group Ones, Tuesday’s card at Royal Ascot also features the Coventry Stakes and 37 entries have been revealed for the six-furlong two-year-old highlight.

Richard Hannon has a typically strong hand as Sir Prancealot, who looked about the best juvenile colt so far when winning the National Stakes at Sandown, could be joined by fellow unbeaten stablemates Jalaa, Olympic Glory, The Taj and Havana Gold.

Charlie Hills has engaged Englishman, whose Newbury maiden victory looks increasingly strong, while Jim Bolger could run the impressive Dawn Approach.

Aidan O’Brien’s Cristoforo Colombo, a market mover in recent days, could also take his chance.

Englishman is again entered in the concluding Windsor Castle Stakes, along with speedy youngsters Bungle Inthejungle, Odooj, Fat Gary, Ahern, Alhebayeb and Cosmic Chatter.

Ante-post favourite Bated Breath is one of 25 sprinters to stand their ground for the King’s Stand Stakes on Tuesday. Roger Charlton’s five-year-old will be going for his first Group One victory on the opening afternoon of the meeting and is set for a rematch with Irish raider Sole Power, who he beat in the Temple Stakes at Haydock.

The most significant horse to defect in terms of betting was the Mick Easterby-trained Hoof It, who is likely to clash with Black Caviar in Saturday’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes instead.

Richard Fahey’s Gabrial and the Francois Rohaut-trained Lucayan have been supplemented for the St James’s Palace Stakes on Tuesday at a cost of £25,000 apiece.

Their addition to the Group One contest for three-year-old colts brings the number of horses for the mile feature to 22.

Gabrial was last seen winning the Silver Bowl at Haydock on firm ground off a handicap mark of 91.