Whilst most eyes were on Sir Henry Cecil’s superstar three-year-old Frankel during recent morning exercise it may have gone unnoticed by some that the highly talented Twice Over put up a smart performance in his latest gallop alongside multiple Group 1-winning mare Midday, writes Elliot Slater.
The four-time Group 1 winner will bid for an unprecedented third successive Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 15, and whilst the move from Newmarket (where he has already recorded back-to-back wins in the race) might not be seen as particularly beneficial to Cecil’s globetrotter, he has run very well in defeat on each of his last three visits to the Berkshire track, including when beaten just a length by Vision D’Etat in the 2009 Prince of Wales’s Stakes. Horseracing experts will no doubt be keeping a close eye on how he gets on.
Working under Ian Mongan over a mile on the watered gallop, Twice Over moved sweetly before moving past pacemaker Tranquil Tiger, then stretched out well to leave Midday three-lengths behind, suggesting that he is pretty much in peak form going into a race in which he could well face tough opposition in the form of So You Think, Cirrus des Aigles, and the back-to form Godolphin pair of Dubai Prince and Casamento.
Although he disappointed when out of the frame when favourite for the Dubai World Cup at Meydan in March and again ran below-par when easily brushed aside over an inadequate mile in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May, Twice Over has come back to form on his last two starts, scoring in the Group 2 Sky Bet York Stakes then following up in the Juddmonte International stakes at York in August where he outpointed his old rival and stable companion Midday by three-quarters-of-a-length. Even people following the Breeders Cup betting will have been impressed.
A hat-trick of Champion Stakes wins would be a sensational achievement, but judging by the way he has been going at home, Twice Over has serious prospects of achieving the feat.