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Nathaniel in Champion reckoning

Sat, 06 October 2012

Nathaniel could join Cirrus Des Aigles in ensuring Frankel does not have things all his own way in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 20.

The John Gosden-trained star had been well-fancied for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, but was forced to miss a trip to Paris after running a temperature earlier in the week.

However, Gosden reports the Eclipse winner to be back in good shape again at his Newmarket base.

The trainer told Racing UK: "It was a body blow, we haven't had a temperature in our yard in two months and of all the horses, he popped up with a temperature.

"It was a little bacterial infection, he's over it now and he was certainly full of himself this morning. But I couldn't get the work in, you can't run a horse like that.

"He's only had three races this year, won the Eclipse, got beaten two inches in the King George and then he ran inside the track record when second on good to firm in Ireland (Irish Champion Stakes).

"It would be great to run him again. It's the one race you can go for. I'd be very happy to run him, the way he was this morning his rider had trouble staying on him.

"The horse that won in France (Cirrus Des Aigles) is a very solid horse, Frankel is a wonder horse.

"I suppose romantically they (Nathaniel and Frankel) ran their first race together and being retired to stud it's nice they run their last race together. Let's see how the horse prepares through the next two weeks."