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Botti eyes Frankel clash

Tue, 07 August 2012

Planteur faces the daunting task of crossing swords with Frankel after being withdrawn from the Sky Bet York Stakes on the Knavesmire last month.

Marco Botti's top-class middle-distance performer was a leading fancy for the Group Two contest but after walking the track, connections felt conditions were too fast and decided not to run.

Botti admits it was a frustrating scenario and it now means that provided the ground is deemed suitable, he is likely to meet the world's highest-rated racehorse back at York in the Juddmonte International on August 22.

"We decided to pull him out because we just felt the ground was too quick and we didn't want to take a risk," said Botti.

"It was a shame as it looked a good opportunity for him and it was the right race, but it was just one of those things.

"The intention has always been to run him in the Juddmonte International and as long as the ground is right for him there, he will probably run.

"I'm not saying he needs soft ground, but he likes a bit of juice in the ground and fast ground is not for him.

"He will run wherever the ground is right and obviously we are going to meet Frankel if we go to York.

"If we think the ground is too fast again, he has the option of the Irish Champion Stakes, so we will see."

Planteur has also been given an entry in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on October 27.