Click above to watch Frankel winning the Queen Anne Stakes (Gr1)…
(Image : The Province - Footage : Hot List HD)
Queen Anne Stakes (Gr1)
Ascot, Turf, 1600m
19 June 2012
Khalid Abdullah’s wonder Frankel (GB) (Galileo) provided a second Royal procession in the G1 Queen Anne Stakes minutes after The Queen’s official arrival at Ascot Tuesday, winning his 11th race by 11 lengths.
Sent of at a remarkable starting price of 1-10, the brilliant bay laid claim to the title of the greatest miler in turf history when extending his superiority over old rival and Group 1-winning benchmark Excelebration (Ire) (Exceed and Excel).
“He’s a great, great horse and is still improving,” commented Sir Henry Cecil after greeting his 74th Royal winner. “People love champions, and I’m pleased he’s done it for them.”
Royal Ascot is an intensely competitive environment, and only a select few are sent off less than evenmoney, but Frankel has long since proved that he is as close to a racing certainty as it is possible to get and punters devoured all odds available until he had reached a Black Caviar (Aus) (Bel Esprit)-like return of 1-10.
His latest performance in Newbury’s G1 Lockinge Stakes a month previously gave credence to his trainer’s outspoken belief that the best horse he has handled throughout his long career had progressed throughout the winter break. The homebred’s early days had been characterized by a gung-ho attitude that was most ruthlessly employed in the G2 Royal Lodge Stakes here at two and in last year’s 2000 Guineas at Newmarket. But the Warren Place team had worked tirelessly to channel his enthusiasm, and race by race the results were becoming clear.
Amenable to restraint here, Frankel settled into an easy rhythm right behind his invaluable 3/4-brother Bullet Train while sandwiched between Godolphin’s free-running Helmet (Aus) (Exceed and Excel) and Excelebration, who was more prominently placed by Joseph O’Brien this time. As soon as Bullet Train started to run out of gas with three furlongs to race, Frankel was allowed some rein and began his familiar surge. Drifting across to the far side as he powered away, he hit the line apparently still full of run.
“I’m relieved, as no horse is a certainty,” Cecil commented. “He did exactly what I thought he would, and he is getting better. He looks as if he’ll stay a mile and a quarter, so we’ll leave our options open but he’s in the G1 Eclipse Stakes at Sandown July 1, G1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood August 1 and G1 Juddmonte International at York August 22 - we’ll feel our way and he’ll tell me what to do.” Winning jockey Tom Queally added, “He settled and traveled and that was his best performance. He’s amazing and ticked all the boxes - I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
Joseph O’Brien was left in awe as he trailed on Excelebration. “I thought for a couple of strides I might get close to him, but as soon as Tom pressed the button he quickened up very well,” O’Brien said. “He’s an exceptional horse and very good.”
With champion Black Caviar still waiting in the wings for Saturday’s Diamond Jubilee, Cecil wasn’t eager to compare his titan to the wonder from down under. “I don’t see how people can judge horses from different generations and countries over different distances and put a horse a pound in front of another, but let everybody judge him for what he has done. You can’t compare him with Black Caviar and I’m a great admirer of hers, so let them be champions in their own right. They are good for racing all over the world. I’ve been very fortunate to have good horses and I don’t like to compare my champions - they don’t deserve that - and any winner here is the same. We have to thank the Prince for keeping him in training for another year, but I would think he’ll go to stud next year. It is a question of whether he has three more races or four.”
Frankel was provisionally rated by Timeform at 147 following Tuesday’s tour de force. “The facts are that Frankel’s performance is likely to surpass anything witnessed in Timeform’s 64 year history,” said David Johnson, Timeform’s Flat editor. “To give some perspective on just how phenomenal this effort was, in provisionally rating Frankel 147, we still have Excelebration running more than a stone below his previous best (133). A point worth emphasising is the consistency with which Frankel has produced such performances. This is the fifth time that he has produced a 140+ rating.” The highest-rated horse in Timeform’s history is Sea Bird II at 145.
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News