Another potential opponent to Frankel looks set to skip the Juddmonte International Stakes at York later this month with John Gosden raising doubts about the participation of Coral-Eclipse winner Nathaniel.
Cirrus Des Aigles was ruled out of the Group 1 race earlier in the week and there is now a very real possibility that the best horse in the world may face a straight-forward task on his first start over 1m 2f.
Frankel was sent off 1-20 favourite for his latest start in the Sussex Stakes and with top-class opposition again looking thin on the ground his odds could be cramped for what will be his 13th start.
Nathaniel won the Eclipse on his first start of the season and was just edged out by Danedream when trying to defend his King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes title at Ascot a fortnight later and Gosden, quoted in today's Racing Post, said: "He's in very good order and he's entered at York but at this stage all I can say is we haven't ruled anything in and anything out.
"He's also in the Irish Champion [Stakes], the Arc and the Champion Stakes later in the year and we'd like to run in two of them."
But Gosden told the Guardian that a trip to Ireland for the Irish Champion Stakes is "more likely" than heading to York on August 22.
"We'll see how things are and make a decision closer to the time," said Gosden.
"I want to see what the weather's doing, that's always important."
Gosden, who has been collecting Group 1 wins with regularity this summer, dismissed the idea that Nathaniel would head to Ireland solely to avoid Frankel.
"He's a horse I respect," he said. "But, if I'm happy with the race and conditions, I've never in my life been frightened off by one horse."
Frankel is a best-priced 1-5 to win at York.