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RIDING HIGH AT NEWMARKET

Toronado wins the Craven Stakes
Toronado wins the Craven Stakes

Watch Toronado winning the Craven Stakes (Gr3)

(Image : The Telegraph - Footage : Almaged KSA)

CRAVEN STAKES (Group 3)

Newmarket, Turf, 1600m

19 April 2013

You can either look upon this as a commercial punt, or you can read it for its historic value. We know we’re biased about High Chaparral and his progeny by reason of his presence here of his highest-rated Northern Hemisphere son, Golden Sword, but in the space of four days, we’ve witnessed two world class performances that demand a mention.

When It’s A Dundeel crushed his rivals by a growing six lengths in last Saturday’s Australian Derby (Gr.1), he wrote a new chapter in the history of their Triple Crown. His winning margin was the biggest since Prince Grant in 1965, and he became the first Triple Crown winner since Octagonal, as celebrated a racehorse as Australasia has known, and in Timeform’s opinion, his 127+ made him the top-rated Australian Derby ace in the past 20 years.

Just last week, his unbeaten son, Toronado, paralysed his opposition in England’s principal Guineas trial, the Craven Stakes, giving notice that Golden Sword’s reign as the best of his sire’s stock in those parts, is on the brink of extinction.

Racing Post’s Mike Riley was overcome to the degree of saying: “It wouldn’t be a surprise if Toronado goes on to have a race named in his honour, such was the impression he created. It was the sort of performance that oozed class, Richard Hughes motionless throughout, until gently pushing his mount out to the line inside the final furlong with no need to even consider the whip for an authoritative romp.

“He’s a machine. He quickened, and he quickened again. He’s a very good horse. He’ll come back here for the Guineas and whatever beats him will win,” said a delighted Richard Hannon, his trainer.

“The second [Havana Gold - also trained by Hannon] is no mug either. I said to Hughesie if it got messy let him run as we know he stays.” Hughes added: “I’d have been gutted if he hadn’t won like that. He quickened away, and when he got into the Dip he went away again up the hill. Not many do that.” Toronado piled the pace on, and blew his rivals out the back door, and then, when asked to quicken, the response was impressive. He confirmed he was comfortably better than very good horses. Nothing he has met so far has been able to live with him.

On the prospect of Toronado staying the Derby trip, Hannon added: “I’ve no doubt he’ll get a mile and a half, and he’s got the speed to go round Epsom, and if he does that, I might retire.” While Hughes added: “He’s bred to get the Derby trip, but now he’s stronger, he’s got a bit more pace.”

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ANIMAL KINGDOM TO STAND AT ARROWFIELD STUD

Animal Kingdom wins Kentucky Derby
Animal Kingdom wins Kentucky Derby

Click above to watch Animal Kingdom winning the 2011 Kentucky Derby (G1)

(Image and Footage : Kentucky Derby)

“A Kingdom for a Horse”

I have only ever attended two Kentucky Derbies. It is part of the essential education of any budding horseman, and it is one of the fundamental reasons why Kentucky has become the racehorse breeding capital of the world. I “debuted” at what was arguably the greatest Derby of all time, the epic clash between Affirmed and Alydar, and as it happened, it was the opening stanza in what was the most memorable Triple Crown in history. That was 1978, and it took me 33 years to return, courtesy of an invitation from Team Valor’s Barry Irwin. It was prophetic (the invitation, I mean). A highly-charged 165,000 people thronged the Louisville course, part celebration of the horse, and as the chords of “Starspangled Banner” and “My Old Kentucky Home” resonated across that great plain, you knew the nation was also celebrating the vengeance of 9/11 with the death of Osama bin Laden a day or two before.

I used the word “prophetic” advisedly, as Animal Kingdom cruised home that day in the colours of our hosts to a dramatic two and three-quarter length victory over the accomplished Shackleton, to mark the summit in the many chapters of Team Valor’s history. For some years, they’ve topped the racing partnership charts of the world, yet here was one Team Valor not only owned, but they bred him, as well.

John Messara’s Arrowfield Stud in Australia has acquired a majority interest in the breeding rights to the 2011 Kentucky Derby hero and Champion 3-Year-Old Male, who will begin his stud career next September and likely shuttle to the Northern Hemisphere beginning in 2014.

The deal is subject to Animal Kingdom passing importation protocols, which involve blood work that should be finalized in the next few days.

The 20 Team Valor International partners that have reached racing’s pinnacle with the home-bred colt will maintain a significant interest in his stud career. The recent runner-up to Wise Dan in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile, Animal Kingdom is slated for the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on 9 February as a prep for the $10-million Dubai World Cup (G1) on 31 March.

After the World Cup, the son of Leroidesanimaux out of Dalicia (by Acatenango) will be flown from Dubai to England and considered for an additional start, possibly at Royal Ascot in June.

John Messara says, “Animal Kingdom excites us as a rare kind of athlete with a truly international pedigree who is able to express his class on a range of surfaces. He is already rated among the world’s elite turf milers and has the potential to become a global superstar in 2013.”

Heavens know what they paid for him. In recent times, horses like Exceed and Excel and Sebring have fetched in excess of $30million Down Under, and while Animal Kingdom will have come at something of a discount to that number in these subdued times, he will nonetheless represent a very tidy sum. Big prices for racehorses are not a revolutionary thing, though; you might recall that, according to one William Shakespeare, King Richard III made an outrageous bid at Bosworth Field in 1485, when he offered his kingdom for a horse. Fortunately, the auctioneer missed the wave of his catalogue, otherwise England may have belonged to someone else these days and there’d have been no Diamond Jubilee for Queen Elizabeth in 2012.

Team Valor CEO Barry Irwin fielded a regular stream of offers for Animal Kingdom’s stud career ever since the Kentucky Derby, in which he prevailed by 2¾ lengths as the first horse to conquer America’s great classic in his first start on dirt. He stands to be the only Derby-winning stallion prospect to race as a 5-year-old since Silver Charm, who scored in the 1997 Run for the Roses.

“Originally it was our intention to race Animal Kingdom for the entire 2013 season,” Irwin said. “However, the prospect of getting the support of John Messara’s Arrowfield Stud in the Southern Hemisphere was so meaningful, that I advised my partners to sublimate their fun and take the deal. It is critically important to get a history-making stallion master behind a new prospect and in John Messara we have that. He has developed two of the world’s most successful sires in Danehill and his son, Redoute’s Choice. No way I was going to pass up this opportunity.”

Robin Bruss of South Africa’s Northfields Bloodstock brokered the deal, just as he’d done a decade ago in bringing the Chilean champion, Hussonet, to Arrowfield.

Team Valor will form broodmare partnerships to breed to Animal Kingdom, with the plan of selling and racing his offspring around the globe.

Trained admirably by Graham Motion, Animal Kingdom is a Graded stakes winner on dirt and synthetic racetracks, and he nearly beat a Horse of the Year candidate in the Breeders’ Cup Mile on turf off a 259-day layoff, overcoming trouble to finish in front of the elite Europeans Excelebration and Moonlight Cloud.

Animal Kingdom also finished second in the 2011 Preakness Stakes. He has finished first or second in 8 of his 9 career starts, the lone exception coming in the Belmont Stakes when he was sandwiched after the break and nearly went down, leading to 8 months on the sidelines with an injury. He has earned $2,327,500.

Extracts from Team Valor International

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A ROYAL SALUTE

Queen's Cavalry dressed in Frankel's Colours
Queen's Cavalry dressed in Frankel's Colours

Picture courtesy of Racing Post. Special thanks to Lynn Atkinson.

Post Cartier Racing Awards

If ever a sign was needed that there are those still willing to remember the virtues of our sport in a world that pays little attention to anything these days, it was The Queen’s gesture in dressing the Household Cavalry last week in Frankel’s colours, to mark his second Cartier Horse of the Year award. It’s never happened before, and it’s unlikely to happen again, not only because of the strict dress code of Her Majesty’s personal bodyguard, but especially because mankind has never witnessed the like of Frankel before, and we’re unlikely to do so again.

Frame this picture: it’s history already.

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FRANKEL : AN IMMACULATE ENDING

Frankel wins QIPCO CHampion Stakes
Frankel wins QIPCO CHampion Stakes

Click above to watch Frankel winning the QIPCO Champion Stakes (G1)

(Photo : news.com.au)

QIPCO CHAMPION STAKES (G1)

Ascot, Turf, 2012m

20 October 2012

He faced real adversity for the first time in his glory-strewn career yesterday, but Khalid Abdullah’s greatest gift to racing, Frankel (GB) (Galileo) duly overcame unfavorable testing ground and a blown start to sign off victorious in the G1 QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot.

Long targeted at the £1.3-million race that could almost have been revamped with him in mind, the sell-out audience and millions glued to TV sets and the internet around the world were made to wait until late morning for him to be confirmed a definite runner after persistent rain in the week had turned the Berkshire turf to heavy in places. Memories of his blitz on Newmarket’s slick surface in last year’s 2000 Guineas led the mind to wonder if he could cope with a slog in these conditions, and the usual flood of cash was stemmed slightly to produce a starting price of 2-11.

As the clouds broke over Ascot in the build-up to this finale, the tension rose in parallel, and a final bout of showers on Thursday into Friday created a crucible in which his champion status would be challenged most acutely. Months of nurture and expert horsemanship saw him enter the buzzy parade ring with nonchalance, and that casual air saw him surrender a normally crucial margin of three lengths out of the stalls. Ian Mongan on Bullet Train (GB) (Sadler’s Wells) dropped anchor in front to allow Tom Queally to ease into the pack, which forced Olivier Peslier on Cirrus des Aigles, to take up the running after 1 1/2 furlongs, with Frankel coasting along in fourth. Bullet Train came back to pester the French raider and was in front again on the approach to the home turn, but by now his customary honest pace-setting role had been shot to pieces, and as Cirrus des Aigles took control with Peslier apparently full of horse at the top of the stretch, Frankel was still over two lengths down.

That deficit had been wiped out with the minimum of effort by the furlong marker, where Queally became animated for the first time, and after administering one slap with the whip with just over 100 yards left to race, immortality was sealed.

His rider, who has played no small part in the success story, was full of admiration afterwards. “I’m so proud of him and it’s been an amazing journey,” Queally commented. “I can’t tell you what it’s meant to be part of it. He’s just getting more and more relaxed as time goes on, and waited until the gates were open. He was slowly away at York, and he was slower today, but I’ve so much belief in the horse and in the past I’ve pushed that to the limit. We lost a length, but a length is nothing to him. He traveled through, and I suppose it’s fair to say that he’s better on better ground, but the turbo, 4x4, everything kicked in. It was pointless getting him on his head before I had to. We were in no rush today, the way the ground was. I was happy all the way and his class really showed today, as I walked the track and I was a little worried about the conditions. Having walked it in the home straight, I knew it wasn’t too heavy for him to quicken up and go about his business. You want every angle covered and everything in your favour, so in that respect there was always a little worry, but he was in great heart today, and he looked a lot better than he did 12 months ago on this day.”

On being Frankel’s jockey, he added, “There is pressure and there’s pressure in all walks of life, but I gladly take that on board. I could stay here all night and tell you what it means to me. The people at Warren Place are one huge family that have pulled together. I don’t get nervous because I’m close to it and I have control, but I can imagine what other people were feeling.” He concluded, “It’s only been a few years, but it’s been a long road and everybody that’s worked with him can take a bow.”

Juddmonte’s Racing Manager Lord Grimthorpe commented, “He’s wonderful - the greatest, isn’t he? He didn’t enjoy that ground as much as he normally does, but he got into a rhythm and was happy. He wasn’t pulling and had a straightforward, trouble-free passage. He had it under control in the straight, but that’s him. He’s brought a whole new generation of people to the sport, and he’s brought wider public recognition to the sport. He was something to savor, the ultimate equine athlete, and I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Khalid Abdullah announced Frankel’s immediate retirement, “That is the end,” he stated simply. It was left to Sir Henry Cecil to pay the ultimate tribute. “He is the best I’ve ever had and the best I’ve ever seen,” he said. “I’d be surprised if there has ever been better.”

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

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WHERE DO THEY COME FROM?

Frankel Racehorse
Frankel Racehorse

Click above to watch “Where do they come from?”

(Image : PaddyPower - Footage : Winners Circle)

EMPERORS PALACE READY TO RUN SALE

TBA Sales Complex, Germiston

2nd and 4th November 2012

Andrew Bon discusses the origins of top thoroughbred racehorses in this Winners Circle insert featuring equine stars Frankel, Horse Chestnut, Igugu, Pierre Jourdan, Smanjemanje and Imbongi… as well as a few exciting new talents.

For more information, please visit :

www.tba.co.za

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DAWN APPROACH : LIKE FATHER LIKE SON IN THE DEWHURST

Dawn Approach win Dubai Dewhurst Stakes
Dawn Approach win Dubai Dewhurst Stakes

Click above to watch Dawn Approach winning the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes (French commentary)

(Image : Sporting Life - Footage : GBI)

DUBAI DEWHURST STAKES G1

Newmarket, Turf 1400m

13 October 2012

It was a case of business as usual in Saturday’s G1 Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket as Dawn Approach (Ire) (New Approach) took his perfect record to six and led home a one-two for trainer Jim Bolger, who was annexing a fifth renewal in seven years.

Racing in third early off the strong tempo forced by his pacesetting stable companion Leitir Mor (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor), the September 15 G1 Vincent O’Brien National Stakes winner took a few strides to reach top gear with a quarter mile remaining, but after passing his barnmate just inside the final furlong, stretched away for a comfortable 2 3/4-length score.

In a break from tradition, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced afterwards that the winning 3-10 favorite would stay with his current trainer despite carrying the royal blue. “Sometimes, we change,” Dubai’s ruler said of the unprecedented shift in policy. “It is a great day and we are very happy. We hope he will be back here for the 2000 Guineas, but the trainer will see if he’s a Derby horse.”

“We’ve been fortunate over the last few years to have such good 2-year-olds, and he’s just another one of those,” jockey Kevin Manning said. “We went a proper pace and it never dropped, and two-down he hit that flat spot he always does, but I knew there was plenty there, and when he hit the rising ground he went away. He’s very straightforward to ride - he has a great cruising gear and you can do anything you like on him. He ticks all the boxes, and he’s much easier to deal with than his father, who had a bit of temperament about him and had to be ponied to the start. It’s been a long year for him, but he’s kept progressing and strengthening up all the time. He had a busy time up to Ascot, but afterwards it was a nice break for him, and he did very well at The Curragh last time. It is very hard to say at this stage, but I have no doubt that he will get further than a mile next year.” Bolger simply stated, “He’s capable of ruling the roost.”

Click here to watch race video on YouTube (English commentary)

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

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RIDING HIGH

Toronado win the Champagne Stakes
Toronado win the Champagne Stakes

Click above to watch Toronado winning the Champagne Stakes (Gr2)

(Photo : The Guardian - Footage : At The Races)

CHAMPAGNE STAKES (Gr2)

Doncaster, Turf, 1408m

15 September 2012

On the face of it, the hitherto unbeaten colt Dundonnell, who like Frankel belongs to Prince Khalid Abdullah, looked like the top English juvenile seen out thus far. As a result, they went to Doncaster on Saturday for the long-honoured Champagne Stakes (Gr.2) with Dundonnel as the 5-6 favourite, and the outcome, like Camelot’sTriple Crown bid, was thought to be a formality. Nobody had factored in another unbeaten colt, Toronado though, who like our own new stallion acquisition, Golden Sword, shares a fatherly connection in their sire High Chaparral.

We shouldn’t forget at this stage, that High Chaparral became the first stallion since his own illustrious sire, Sadler’s Wells, to get six Group One winners in his first crop, so this is not altogether unexpected, though you wouldn’t associate him necessarily with precocious two-year-olds, and while this fellow is obviously already very good, it seems he will be better next year.

Allowed to stride to the front from the gate, Toronado was able to wind up the tempo to suit himself, and despite the looming presence of the giant favourite inside the final furlong, stayed in control for the drive to the line. “I’ve always thought he was a good horse, but I can only go on feel, and today he’s proved it” jockey Richard Hughes commented. “I was in a ‘catch twenty two situation’, as this horse needs a mile, but I wasn’t going to go fast enough to set it up for the rest, yet at the same time not going that fast, wouldn’t suit me either. He has a lovely way of galloping, a beautiful action and it’s a pleasure to be on him”. Trainer Richard Hannon Jnr elaborated “He did it very well, and he’s a lovely big horse who will grow into himself and will be one for next year”. It seems his next target will be the Racing Post Trophy (Gr.1) at Doncaster, which has been the forerunner to a stream of Derby winners in Galileo, High Chaparral, Sir Percy, Motivator, Sea The Stars, Workforce, Pour Moi and Camelot in recent times.

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ENCKE ROBS CAMELOT OF TRIPLE CROWN GLORY

Encke wins the St Leger Stakes
Encke wins the St Leger Stakes

Click above to watch Encke defeating Camelot in the St Leger Stakes (Gr1)

(Photo : Daily Mail - Footage : Shalakhani)

LADBROKES ST LEGER STAKES (Gr1)

Doncaster, Turf, 2937m

15 September 2012

History waited on him, but was ultimately disappointed as Camelot (GB) (Montjeu) failed in his Triple Crown bid in yesterday’s G1 Ladbrokes St Leger Stakes won by Godolphin’s outsider Encke (Kingmambo). Ballydoyle’s class act brought mass appeal to Doncaster’s Town Moor and the sell-out crowds left largely deflated, as Camelot tried in vain to reel in the 25-1 winner and Mickael Barzalona in the final yards.

With the defeat, Aidan O’Brien missed out on becoming the first trainer to win all five British Classics in the same season. The Irishman remained philosophical after the Wise Dan at Saratoga Adam Coglianese event. “He ran a great race, but just got beat,” O’Brien said. “It’s disappointing for everybody, but that’s racing. It wasn’t what we thought it was going to be - it was a steadily run race and he just stayed on rather than quickened.”

Encke arrived at Doncaster with one of the lowest profiles of all of Godolphin’s past St Leger heroes, having won a 10-furlong handicap by a half length at Sandown off an official handicap mark over 30 pounds below Camelot’s only three starts ago July 6. Beaten a nose by Frankel’s brother Noble Mission (GB) (Galileo) on his belated first pattern-race appearance in the G3 Gordon Stakes over 12 furlongs at Goodwood July 31, the bay was third behind Thought Worthy (Dynaformer) and Main Sequence (Aldebaran) in a renewal of the G2 Great Voltigeur that was effectively a meander-and- sprint affair.

Ranked here as the Gosden pacemaker, Dartford (Giant’s Causeway) failed to set the fast fractions expected, Encke appeared to be traveling as well as Camelot, who had steadily crept between rivals from rear inside the final three furlongs.

Whereas Joseph O’Brien took a moment to gather the favorite at the quarter pole, Barzalona seized the day and Camelot’s rider quickly went from ice-cool to panic as his mount failed to pick up instantly. Encke was in the clear by the time Camelot found top stride and the nine slaps with O’Brien’s whip were not enough to bring out the familiar pizzazz of the previously unbeaten colt.

This was a sixth St Leger victory for Godolphin, which places Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s operation joint-second on the all-time list.

“This horse would rank with the very best of our winners - it was a great effort,” Racing Manager Simon Crisford commented. “Mickael rode a beautiful race and when he kicked at the two pole, he put the race to bed.”

Winning trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni revealed afterwards that he had little faith in Encke’s Classic bid. “He ran a good race in the Voltigeur, but I thought that was him and he was no more than that,” he explained. “I thought he had no chance today and told Mickael to save him and try and be placed, but he’s tough and kept going. In fairness to Mickael, he has always liked him and told me he had the class.”

Crisford added, “We put a line through his run at York and Mahmood had been very happy with his work in the build-up to the Leger and Sheikh Mohammed gave the green light to run him. We weren’t sure about his stamina going into the race, but he’s quite stoutly bred, so we thought it wouldn’t be a problem. What we loved about that race was the turn of foot he showed, which stands him in good stead for next season and he will stay in training. I would imagine it’s very unlikely he’ll run in the Arc, but we will see what Sheikh Mohammed wants to do. I would imagine he will have a plan geared around next summer. This is one of the great races of the British calendar and we have been very lucky to win it six times. We went into the race thinking we probably wouldn’t beat the favorite, but definitely fancying a piece of the pie and Mickael gelled really well with him today as we told him to keep an eye on the pacemaker and ride accordingly.”

Camelot’s trainer Aidan O’Brien was dealing with the fall-out of the shock, which brought to an end the dream of the Triple CrownJohn Magnier had described as a “no-brainer” to chase minutes before the race. “I thought the pace was going to be strong and I should have run a pacemaker or two,” O’Brien explained. “He was where I would have wanted him to be and he had to relax him going this distance, but he just tanked a bit early and had to take his time down the straight. He didn’t quicken like he did in the Guineas and Derby, but that was liable to happen as he was going a bit further than his distance.” As for what is next for Camelot, O’Brien added, “The thing that was going on in my head was that, if he was staying in training next year, he wouldn’t run any more this season, but the lads will make that decision.”

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

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ENGLISH TRIPLE CROWN : D-DAY APPROACHES

Camelot St Leger Stakes Ad
Camelot St Leger Stakes Ad

Click above to watch the St Leger Stakes promo…

(Image : Ramadan - Footage : Official BC Series)

LADBROKES ST LEGER STAKES (Gr1)

Doncaster, Turf, 2937m

15 September 2012

Camelot (GB) (Montjeu) yesterday headed the 11 entries remaining for Saturday’s G1 Ladbrokes St Leger and trainer Aidan O’Brien admitted to some anxious moments ahead of the unbeaten colt’s Triple Crown bid. Currently rated a 1-3 shot, generally to emulate the 1970 hero Nijinsky and end the 42-year wait for the prestigious honour to be bestowed once again, Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier and Michael Tabor’s flag bearer is firmly on target for the extended 14-furlong test and a slice of history.

“Everything has been good so far, although there are always worries,” the Ballydoyle maestro told a gathering at a media day yesterday. “We are in the zone where you don’t want to talk about things, you just want to keep everything smooth. None of us know what is going to happen tomorrow. Accidents never just happen, they are always caused along the line. We just have to try and cover everything. It is a fickle time but we just have to stay focused.”

O’Brien admitted that the road to this point has not been straightforward, with testing ground at The Curragh almost curtailing his stop-over in the June 30 Irish Derby.

“We always had it in our heads that he would have three or four runs this year. After Epsom, our grass gallop was flooded and all his work was on the woodchip. When he ran in the Irish Derby, I don’t think I have ever known the ground so heavy at the Curragh. He runs very low to the ground, not rising much, so it was very touch and go whether he would run. He went through the race very easily, only racing for two furlongs; he just couldn’t quicken in the same way that day. We gave him a good break and his weight started to increase which was unusual. He will be heavier for the St Leger than he has been going into any other race, but with 3-year-olds they often don’t change until later in the year. His body is built more like a miler, in that he is round and strong as opposed to angular and lean. That is a little thing that would be in your mind.”

Camelot’s attitude is one of his great characteristics, O’Brien explained. “After his races, he just stands there and doesn’t blow which is very unusual. Most horses are bit agitated after a race. I think he must have a tremendous heart and lung capacity.”

“The horse is a very independent thinker. He is very sharp minded, very intelligent and very relaxed. If he was in a barn of 40 horses and some horses started messing, usually the barn would go mad but he wouldn’t. When horses walk off, most of them need other horses with them, but he doesn’t mind being by himself. He doesn’t look for company and makes his own mind up about things. We have to prioritise; we think Camelot is like no other horse. Who knows what is going to happen; we don’t take anything for granted. We will do our very best, it’s all we can do. We knew that Sue Magnier had the name Camelot for 10 years, since the last Derby winner, and we were not going to influence her in any way. She made her own mind up about it. It is a mystical kind of name and everything about this horse has not been normal. They have to have speed, stamina and courage - they are the three most important things when you are breeding horses. The Ladbrokes St Leger will expose the last two.”

“It will be an interesting day. The Triple Crown is a dream; what has changed with the lads is originally they wanted to make stallions and got them off to stud quick. Now it is make a stallion and expose him because they have a lot of mares. I suppose things have moved on - people are not as forgiving as they were and want to see horses being tested. The lads are prepared to race on the older horses and that previously did not happen. There are an awful lot more disappointments and you do your best; sometimes it is good enough, sometimes it is not. When it is not you try and analyse why not, move on and try not to dwell on it.”

“He is a jockey’s dream to ride as everything comes naturally to him,” jockey Joseph O’Brien, all nineteen years of him, said. “Camelot is an exceptional horse with a brilliant turn of foot. Whether he will stay a mile and three quarters, that’s the big question and nobody knows the answer until Saturday. It may only be just over two furlongs further than he has been before but that is still a lot. Camelot is still learning and has not had as much racing as some horses of his age. The Triple Crown would be a dream come true. I have seen the videos of Nijinsky and Lester Piggott and if Camelot could emulate that it would be unbelievable.”

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MIKE DE KOCK PLANS NEWMARKET EXPANSION

Mike de Kock - Newmarket Yard
Mike de Kock - Newmarket Yard

Mike de Kock

(Photo : Tab Online)

“If the BHA agrees, the horses will race under the names

of their South African trainers.”

Michael Clower - Racing Post
Michael Clower - Racing Post

Michael Clower

Racing PostMike de Kock is planning to expand his Newmarket operation by persuading other South African trainers to send him horses to be trained at his Abington Place base.

He will charge his normal training fees but the South African trainers will be paid the statutory percentages on their horses’ earnings while De Kock will take a smaller percentage. Furthermore, if the BHA agrees, the horses will race under the names of their South African trainers.

The seven-time South African Champion Trainer revealed his plans in an interview with David Mickleburgh commissioned by the country’s TBA and published on their website (click here to read the article).

De Kock also revealed his frustration at the complicated, lengthy and expensive travel arrangements necessitated by the ban on direct importation of horses from South Africa. This was imposed as a result of outbreaks of African Horse Sickness and is not due to expire until next May. Therefore his Dubai horses have gone via Mauritius and they have to then spend a further 30 days in Europe before being allowed into Dubai.

He said: “It costs the racehorses a potential health-threatening 147 days (including 40 in Mauritius where they are locked in their stables from 4.00pm to 8.30am with only an early morning feed, and then a 50-day residency period) and costs the owners US$50,000 per horse to meet the export protocols.”

“There is no scientific or veterinary reason for these imposts beyond the reasonable 21 days quarantine in South Africa to ensure that the animal is clean. Compare this to the limited restrictions on Australian horses where the illnesses they get can be life-threatening to even humans.”

“These restrictions are like a trade embargo and could even be considered illegal. Our authorities could, perhaps, become a little more aggressive and contemplate legal action. After all we have never exported a single case of African Horse Sickness.”

“But somewhere in an unknown address funny little people, who patently know nothing and are driven by a form of paranoia, or more worryingly may have an axe to grind or have become accommodating for other reasons, invent restrictions on South African horses that are beyond comprehension. I can only hope that when the next round of protocols is announced someone sees reason.”

Extract from Racing Post

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THE MEANING OF "T.C."

Camelot Ste Leger Stakes Promo
Camelot Ste Leger Stakes Promo

Camelot is coming…

(Image : BBC - Footage : Doncaster Racecourse)

LADBROKES ST LEGER STAKES (Gr1)

Doncaster, Turf, 2937m

15 September 2012

Charles Engelhard’s epitaph simply read “Here lie the remains of the owner of a Triple Crown winner. Not “feted businessman”, not “gems billionaire”, nor anything else, just “owner of a Triple Crown winner”. For all his achievements in the world of business and philanthropy, Engelhard is best remembered for his association with the 1970 English Triple Crown hero, Nijinsky, and to illustrate how rare the feat is, Nijinsky’s Triple Crown came 35 years after the previous ace, the Aga Khan’sBahram who achieved the feat in 1935. It is a little known fact though, that the American mining magnate kicked off his career on the turf in South Africa, with the late George Azzie as his trainer. Engelhard was a regular dinner guest at the tables of like-minded South Africans, the Oppenheimers, the Mosenthals, the Gallos, the Barlows, high society as you can see, and his first horses included the Durban July victor, Numeral, the much-celebrated Hawaii, Sea Rover and a supreme colt called Elevation, whose championship achievements he was to be denied by his premature death. Engelhard’s successes in South Africa inspired him to invest abroad, principally in the progeny of the great Italian champion, Ribot, and from these flowed the Classic winners, Ribero and Ribocco, and the English Champion juvenile of his year, Ribofilio (who was to stand subsequently at the Oppenheimer’s Mauritzfontein Stud outside Kimberley).

It was the homage Charlie paid to Ribot and his progeny that ironically led him to his Triple Crown winner, when he sent his Irish trainer, Vincent O’Brien to the Canadian sales at Woodbine, to buy the sole entry by Ribot in the catalogue. On his arrival, O’Brien was little impressed by the son of Ribot, but instead recommended to Engelhard that he acquire an exceptionally good looking colt from the second crop of E.P. Taylor’s diminutive champion, Northern Dancer. At $84,000, Nijinsky topped the Canadian Yearling sale, a princely sum for a horse from a relatively obscure breeding region of the world. The rest is history.

If winning the Triple Crown means anything, it’s worth remembering that Bahram went on to head the British Sires’ list, and founded an enduring sire line through his son Persian Gulf, as much a success in South Africa as anywhere, through the champion sires Abadan II and the multiple Premiership leader, Persian Wonder. Nijinsky topped the American and European sires’ premierships, and commanded a fee at his height of $300,000 while standing at Bull Hancock’sClaiborne Farm. It was this early association with the Oppenheimers, which led to their inclusion among the founding shareholders in the all-conquering stallion.

This Saturday, we face the first serious possibility of a Triple Crown winner since Nijinsky (in other words, in 42 years) as Camelot goes to post the hottest favourite in history for the third leg, the St Leger at Doncaster. On his performances so far, it will take a train to stop him.

For a horse with Triple Crown aspirations, Camelot went an unconventional route. The English 2000 Guineas (the first leg of the Triple Crown) has traditionally been something of a graveyard for winning graduates of the Racing Post Trophy (a Group One mile for two-year-olds, run at Doncaster at the end of the British season), though it’s been a great forerunner for recent winners of the Investec Derby (understandably, because it’s often run in the wet and is a good test of stamina for a two-year-old with aspirations over more ground at three.) Its recent Derby-winning advertisements number some of the standout racehorses of recent generations, including: Galileo, High Chaparral, Sir Percy, Motivator, Authorized, Sea The Stars, Workforce and Pour Moi, besides Camelot. In contrast to his facile five length victory in the Derby, Camelot just got home in the dying strides of the Guineas, suggesting the further he goes the better he will be, a daunting warning for those seeking to take him on this Saturday. Tune in to DSTV Channel 232, and witness history in the making.

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A RIVAL FOR FRANKEL?

Nathaniel Horse
Nathaniel Horse

Nathaniel (IRE)

(Photo : Ascot Insider)

QIPCO CHAMPION STAKES (Group 1)

Ascot, Turf, 2000m

20 October 2012

We all thought that the Buick motorcar was a relic of a former age, but when it comes to racehorses, there is a new version in the riding ranks. William Buick has been central to the wave of success which trainer John Gosden has enjoyed in the past few seasons, piloting a veritable stream of Group One winners for the Newmarket-based yard. Yesterday, Buick pointed to Nathaniel as the main rival to Frankel in the G1 QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot October 20.

Following the scintillating performance of Khalid Abdullah’s world highweight in Wednesday’s Juddmonte International (G1) at York, Buick is looking forward to taking him on with Lady Rothschild’s 2011 G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and 2012 G1 Eclipse Stakes winner.

“I think Frankel is probably unbeatable, but we’ve got a horse in Nathaniel who will probably at some stage have a go”, said Buick. “If Ascot came up testing and stamina came into it, he will definitely give him a run for his money and I think he is the horse to get nearest to him. If stamina comes into it, I would be putting emphasis on that and try to find any chinks that Frankel does have, but he probably doesn’t. You have to give it a go”, he continued. “It’s a pleasure to be riding in races with Frankel. I’ve never seen a horse who can accelerate like him, he just leaves everything standing. He’s the best horse I’ve seen and he’s probably the best horse there’s ever been, so being around when he’s around, is a pleasure”.

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SANDEEP GAURAVARAM : FRANKEL'S MAN

Sandeep Gauravaram with Frankel
Sandeep Gauravaram with Frankel

Sandeep Gauravaram with Frankel

(Photo courtesy of Sandeep)

“He’s a nice big strong horse and I thought

‘I’ll take him’”

If you read the latest edition of the Summerhill Sire’s brochure, or if you’ve listened to the opening stages of the new Summerhill Sire’s DVD, you’ll have heard what the famous Australian author, Les Carlyon, considers the most compelling aspects of racing: horses and people. “The rest is dros, he says. The truth of Carlyon’s statement was borne out again this week when Frankel finally donned the Emperor’s cloak as the greatest horse we’ve known.

But there are deeper stories around horses like Frankel (and just about all horses, for that matter). They are a language we can all share; sometimes there are quieter sides, sometimes there are dramatic moments, but there is always a story to tell. Like the one those that manage our Facebook and Twitter accounts have eeked out in an intimate interaction with Frankel’s groom, Sandeep Gauravaram, a one-time Indian jockey who now works for Sir Henry Cecil.

“He’s a nice big strong horse and I thought ‘I’ll take him’ - he stood out from all the others,” says the 30-year-old, nicknamed Sandy. From day one, I thought there was something great to look forward to, something special. He definitely makes me proud - more than proud. He has such a beautiful, long stride and makes it all look so easy. Frankel also has a personality all his own and is a hot-blooded male. He gets warm very easily and pulls his rug off quite a lot, which is quite unusual,” says Gauravaram, who quit as a jockey in India because of injuries and came to England five years ago. “He’s a very clever horse who knows what he wants. If he is hungry, he will drag you over to the feed box. I think he knows how good he is and likes to be the centre of attention. He loves having people around. He’s like a little kid who wants to know about everything. He’s very inquisitive - quite nosey actually. He keeps an eye on everything that goes on.” Gauravaram believes the horse recognises him.

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FRANKEL... FRANKLY SUPERIOR.

Sir Henry Cecil and Frankel
Sir Henry Cecil and Frankel

Sir Henry Cecil and Frankel

(Photo : Daily Mail)

JUDDMONTE INTERNATIONAL STAKES (Gr1)

York, Turf, 2090m

22 August 2012

St Nicholas Abbey is a good horse, his three Group One victories are testimony to that. And that puts Frankel’s annihilation of yesterday’s Juddmonte International (Gr.1) field into perspective. We said it would be a tactical race, and the only thing that remained to be tested of Frankel’s spectacular powers, was his stamina. Team Coolmore brought along two others besides “St Nic” to subject the champion’s stamina to its most severe test to date, and that was evident when Robin Hood stormed to the front, spotting Frankel’s own half brother and pacemaker Bullet Train, a few lengths in the process. Meanwhile, trailing near the back of the field, Frankel tracked Joseph O’Brien aboard St Nicholas Abbey, whose connections obviously felt that a couple of lengths start turning for home up York’s punishing straight, would be a useful advantage.

There are those that would argue that St Nicholas Abbey has never quite lived up to his Coolmore billing, and that this was evident in the fact that he was unable to put away the Godolphin colour bearer, Farhh, but that doesn’t get away from the fact that St Nic is a multiple Group One winner, and he’s earned that status at the expense of some cracking horses. Yes, he’s no Camelot, and this race might’ve been two furlongs shorter than this optimum, but that’s not the point. Throughout the race, Frankel’s jockey Tom Queally was playing the predator. Everyone knew what he was going to do to St Nicholas Abbey. St Nic is pretty, Frankel is a killer. Ears pricked, Frankel broke his adversary’s heart in the straight. Quickly, clinically.

The real point is that in an instant, Frankel had paralysed a Group One field in a matter of strides, and if ever anyone harboured any doubts about his stamina, they were put away over the next two furlongs, as the greatest horse we’ve seen in our lifetimes, strode to an imperious seven length victory, ridden with no greater urging from his rider than his hands and heels and the odd tap down the neck. That he was easing down at the end with three Group One winners in his wake, was the most emphatic and convincing evidence that he is the greatest ever, and it might be another lifetime or two before his equal comes along, if ever. For the record, in compiling a perfect thirteen-for-thirteen, Frankel has put a phenomenal 76 lengths between himself and those that have chased him home, an average winning distance of six lengths per outing.

Frankel’s victory was a triumph of several things. Firstly, it gives hope to those who believe the world will get better. It also fuels the fire of those who like to see order. If racing were first of all an industry, it would be more rational. The corporate world likes good order and forecasts that come true; it thrives on yields and cost effectiveness. Racing is not rational and is seldom cost effective, but Frankel reminded us yesterday, that very occasionally a rare athlete can bring order, vindication and pots of money to those who invest in it. Even the business report on Sky News seemed impressed.

Secondly, it was a triumph of a man over adversity. Frankel’s trainer, Sir Henry Cecil and his twin brother David, are widely believed to be the illegitimate sons of what racing calls the “first” Aga Khan. Cecil was, in his “first” life as a trainer, an extraordinary talent who married the daughter of another equestrian genius, Sir Noel Murless. He had as his patrons the rich and the famous, the landed and the titled. Simultaneously almost, his marriage collapsed, his patrons deserted and he dissolved into an alcoholic haze. Suddenly, he went from champion trainer to “also-ran”. That he stood where he did in York’s Winner’s Circle yesterday, is a tribute to the man, and especially to the adage that where there’s hope, there’s a chance. Racing is a game which is never short of hope, and if there’s one thing its fans enjoy more than a fairytale ending, it’s a great comeback.

Just as flawed people are most times more interesting than saints, so that the outrageous Randolph Churchill always seemed a richer character than his canonised father, so the turf and its people fascinate, quirky and fickle, high-browed and low-browed, it combines the romantic and the tawdry, the glory of a Frankel with the sadness of the passing of a Big City Life.

And finally, this was a timely reminder that, unlike other businesses, no matter your resources, racing is a game which has room for us all. Admittedly Frankel’s owner is man of considerable means, but he is his own man, a competitor, a perfectionist, and a bloody good breeder. Despite the presence in the field of the properties of the leviathans of the game, Frankel has stood his ground manfully. Nay, not manfully; masterfully, and in the process, he has conferred on his owner immortality.

Inevitably, the question is asked about his value, and what his opening stud fee will be when he finally retires. Despite the recession, notwithstanding the gloom-and-doom the Northern Hemisphere wakes to every day, here is something to cheer the hearts of anyone with an appreciation of greatness: he will go to stud the most valuable racehorse the world has known. Of course, it’s highly unlikely he will ever be sold; he is the property of a very rich man, and while that same man was tempted to dispose of the bulk of his interests in Danehill, we doubt he will repeat that mistake twice. For what it’s worth, we would think he would command a fee for openers very close to that of his own illustrious father, Galileo, who stands at €300,000, no questions asked. On that basis, he must be worth somewhere between €250 and €300 million. He has the pedigree, he has the godly good looks, and there’s never been his equal on a racecourse. It would take at least that to tempt Prince Khalid Abdullah into even entertain anything of the sort.

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FRANKEL UNTOUCHABLE IN JUDDMONTE INTERNATIONAL STAKES

Frankel winning the Juddmonte International Stakes
Frankel winning the Juddmonte International Stakes

Click above to watch Frankel winning the Juddmonte International Stakes (Gr1)

(Image : British Bloodstock/York Lake - Footage : The Derby)

JUDDMONTE INTERNATIONAL STAKES (Gr1)

York, Turf, 2090m

22 August 2012

The perfect mix of Poetry and Destruction.

The glory of Rhythm, Power and Majesty.

The Undisputed Champion of the World.

13 from 13.

FRANKEL.

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HISTORY OF THE JUDDMONTE INTERNATIONAL

Sea The Stars - Juddmonte International Stakes
Sea The Stars - Juddmonte International Stakes

Sea The Stars wins the 2009 Juddmonte International Stakes (Gr1)

(Photo : The Guardian)

JUDDMONTE INTERNATIONAL STAKES (Gr1)

York Racecourse, United Kingdom

1 mile, 2 furlongs and 88 yards

The Juddmonte International Stakes, the last middle-distance QIPCO British Champions Series race before the QIPCO Champion Stakes provides the glittering climax to the category on QIPCO British Champions Day, and is a race with a short but glorious history.

The event, run at York over 1 miles, 2 furlongs and 88 yards (2,090 metres), first appeared in 1972. But what an appearance! American-bred Roberto, a Derby winner and named after baseball star Roberto Clemente, became the first - and last - horse to beat Brigadier Gerard.

There have been other notable highlights in this Group 1 race for three-year-olds or older - Troy, the 1979 Derby winner, Commanche Run, the 1984 St Leger winner, two-time winner Halling and Giant’s Causeway, rated Europe’s top horse in 2000.

And then, of course, there was Sea The Stars, who took the race in 2009 - the same year he won an incredible six Group 1 races within six months, including the 2000 Guineas, Investec Derby and Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe.

If you’re looking for the best quiz question concerning the Juddmonte International Stakes, then try this one - what is the family name of the jockey who has entered the winner’s enclosure six times? Answer - Dettori, with six wins (although only the last five of those went to Frankie. The first went to his father Gianfranco in 1976. That would have been a tad early for Frankie, who was five years old at the time).

Current leading jockey : Frankie Dettori, 5 wins (1996-7, 2001, 2004, 2007)

Current leading trainer : Sir Michael Stoute, 5 wins (1986, 1993-4, 1997, 2006)

Extract from QIPCO British Champions Series

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THE SWEETNESS OF VICTORY

Lords Test Match - England vs South Africa
Lords Test Match - England vs South Africa

A Magical Lord’s Test

(Image and Footage : Lords Cricket Ground)

2-0

You never want to be seen to be gloating in your moment of triumph, but you’ll forgive me in saying that yesterday’s victory by our cricketers over England was good. Firstly, it came at a good time. There was carnage on our mines this past week as union bosses fought out a turf war at a cost of 44 lives. The nation was bleeding, and God knows, we needed something to lift us. Yes, there was a recent series victory over England on the rugby field, Ernie Els hoisted the Claret Cup at the British Open, and our athletes earned gold at the Olympics. But there’s little more satisfying than when the lesson comes from the pupil at the expense of the teacher, and cricket came to the Empire from our Colonial masters. That’s why the Aussies call England “the old enemy” and here we were, taking on the number one rated team in the world for their crown, an English team which ranks with the best in their history. Savour the moment, countrymen, the margin was 2-0, and whilst credit should be given to England for a hard-fought contest, there was never a doubt about the supremacy of the Proteas.

I know this will sound like salt in the wound, but most of our English friends are of generous spirit and good humour, so I’m going to share a moment of amusement with you. Before I do so, let me confess to a generous flow of their blood through my own veins, yet I remain bewildered by the British psyche. Rewind to the 19th century, when the British held dominion over more than 40% of the earth’s surface, when they possessed the greatest fighting machine the world had ever known, and when there was no territory they’d entered that they’d failed to conquer. Yet they came to South Africa, to suffer the most humiliating defeats in all their military glory, at places like Isandlwana, Nkambule, Eshowe and Hlobane, the latter of which prompted Sir Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister at the time, to ask in the Commons: “Who are these people, who convert our bishops, defeat our generals, and this day have altered the course of European history forever?”. And then there were the battles (and the losses) with the Boers at Colenso, Vaalkrans and Spioenkop, as well as the battle that put an end to the first Anglo Boer War, Majuba.

Yet our British friends, (and thank goodness it’s so, because they fill our hotels and lodges!) come back year-after-year, in their thousands, to visit the sites of their greatest defeats. Of course, they do so for the big consolation as well, Rorke’s Drift, without parallel Britain’s most glorious moment on the field of battle. And they still return, their cricketers and their rugby players, to Newlands, King’s Park, Ellis Park and Loftus Versveld, to the Wanderers and Kingsmead, for hiding after hiding, year after year. And then they leave, chins up in the stoic British tradition, with a smile on their faces. And that’s why this little island, smaller than KwaZulu-Natal in extent, continues to wield such clout in the international world of finance, politics and let’s not forget, they’ve just celebrated their greatest year at the Olympics.

And then they have Frankel, and when the Irish send him to do battle, Camelot. And St Nicholas Abbey. Don’t forget tomorrow’s clash on DSTV Channel 232: you might never forget it.

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THE JUDDMONTE INTERNATIONAL : RACE OF THE CENTURY?

Rishi Persad, Lydia Hislop and Steve Mellish - Juddmonte International Stakes 2012 Preview
Rishi Persad, Lydia Hislop and Steve Mellish - Juddmonte International Stakes 2012 Preview

Click above to watch Rishi Persad, Lydia Hislop and Steve Mellish

as they preview the 2012 Juddmonte International Stakes

(Image and Footage : Official BC Series)

JUDDMONTE INTERNATIONAL STAKES (Gr1)

York, Turf, 2090m

22 August 2012

Too often in sport, we’re ready to proclaim ours as the event of the year, of the decade, or better still, the century. But if the stewards at York racecourse in England want to call Wednesday’s clash in the Juddmonte International (Gr.1) exactly that, “The Race of the Century”, they could be close to the mark. Sceptics might argue that this century is only twelve years old, and they’re right, but if you rewind to 1900, it would be hard to find a more compelling match-up in racing than that between Frankel and St Nicholas Abbey this Wednesday. This isn’t Camelot, I’m afraid, but it’s Coolmore’s next best thing, a triple Group One winner, and a horse they’ve been shouting from the rooftops ever since he was a juvenile.

Americans will point to the great rivalry between Affirmed and Alydar in 1978, the British still talk about Brigadier Gerard and Mill Reef, and both do so with some justification. Yet others in America remember the Jockey Club Gold Cup of 1979, featuring Affirmed, Spectacular Bid and Coastal in what the feted equine artist Richard Stone Reeves labelled his “Race of the Century (remember, the Belmont hero, Coastal stood the latter half of his stud career here at Summerhill). But in Frankel we have the highest rated European racehorse of all time, (well, certainly since Phil Bull started rating horses in the early fifties in his Timeform publications) and in St Nicholas Abbey, we not only have one of the top rated older horses in Europe, but we have a horse whom the giant Coolmore operation consider among the best to carry their silks. And they’ve had a few: think Montjeu, Galileo, Sadler’s Wells, Giant’s Causeway etc. Of course, their star three-year-old, Camelot, would’ve been all the more mouth-watering, but knowing how shrewd they are, the Irish outfit could just be using the Juddmonte as a “sighter” to get a line on Frankel, for a later tilt at him with Camelot.

Meanwhile, it’s worth hearing legendary trainer Aidan O’Brien, on the subject: “St Nicholas Abbey had a little bit of a break after the King George, and is in top shape. We were very happy with him at Ascot, where he travelled and quickened very well. We’ve always thought the world of “St. Nic”. He was a very good two-year-old, his three-year-old career was a bit of a mess, but we’ve been delighted with him at four and five. He’s a very exciting horse who travels and quickens, and we think he’s still on the upgrade. Frankel is a great horse, and every time we see him is a privilege”.

You don’t have to be a racing fan to savour this one and you don’t have to be a subscriber to Tellytrack to tune in. You just have to have a subscription to DSTV and flick to channel 232 on Wednesday afternoon. Make sure your kids are on standby, as this one could be for the ages.

P.S. The big race is run at 4:40 pm, our time.

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FRANKEL DEFENDS QIPCO SUSSEX STAKES CROWN

Frankel - Sussex Stakes 2012
Frankel - Sussex Stakes 2012

Click above to watch an insert on Frankel’s win in the QIPCO Sussex Stakes (G1)

(Photo : Bettor - Footage : HorseRaceEquidia)

QIPCO SUSSEX STAKES (Group 1)

Goodwood, Turf, 1609m

1 August 2012

Before yesterday’s G1 Qipco Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, the only meaningful betting was on the winning distance of Frankel (GB) (Galileo), as his Black Caviar-like starting price of 1-20 was prohibitive to say the least. That said, the bookmakers had no option than to deter the punters, and the inevitable duly occurred with Tom Queally having matters wrapped up once the Juddmonte juggernaut had been allowed to stride past his invaluable 3/4-brother Bullet Train (GB) (Sadler’s Wells) approaching the quarter pole. From there, it was like a piece of exercise on the Newmarket gallops as he glided to a six-length defeat of Farhh (GB) (Pivotal) to make it a dozen outings unbeaten and become the first to win this race twice.

Now with an average winning distance of five lengths in all the Group 1 events he has contested, Frankel has also equaled the record set by Rock of Gibraltar (Ire) (Danehill) of seven consecutive successes at the top level in Europe. In doing so, he set himself up perfectly for his first attempt at further than a mile in the G1 Juddmonte International over an extended 10-furlong trip at York in three weeks’ time. Unfortunately, both Khalid Abdullah and Sir Henry Cecil were absent due to health reasons, but Frankel gave them no cause for concern as he extended his stable’s record of wins in this to seven since 1975.

“Every moment spent on his back is a special one and today was no different,” the humble and talented Tom Queally said after guiding his 18th winner at this level for Sir Henry Cecil. “He’s amazing and he had all the other horses cooked a little after halfway. You don’t have to ask him to do an awful lot, and again he put distance between them without doing anything major from my point of view. It was a nice prep for his next race, and he’s a class apart from anything else at the moment. He does it all very easily and therefore I have a very easy job - all I have to do is steer. He’s turning Group 1 races into processions. The crowd really appreciate him, and it’s important that they do.”

Speaking on behalf of the Juddmonte operation and Warren Place was Teddy Grimthorpe, and he was struggling to summarise afterwards. “Frankel is something else - we are lucky to have him and racing is tremendously fortunate,” he said. “He really is just a remarkable equine. Henry and everyone at Warren Place have done a fantastic job, and it’s been a great effort just to get him absolutely spot on. I think it’s hugely exciting that he’s going to step up in trip now. It’s a new challenge for him and it’s what everybody wants to see him do. I think he’s ready to do it, as he’s much more mature, both mentally and physically. He always works wonderfully and keeps putting it in, so it almost becomes the norm, but we have to enjoy it, as these incredible, exceptional horses are what we come into racing for. Henry has that tremendous feel for horses and Tom has built up a great affinity for the horse now. Earlier on in his career, it was probably Frankel that was telling him what he wanted to do, but now it’s a very good combination.”

Despite the ease of his 12th success, Frankel is set to stay on his current world ranking of 140 pounds, according to the British Horseracing Authority’s Mile Handicapper Dominic Gardiner-Hill. “I’m sure that was exactly what his connections wanted - a stroll on the Downs before he tackles a longer trip for the first time at York in three weeks’ time,” he said. “He went into the race with 32 pounds in hand of Gabrial and he has beaten him 9 1/4 lengths, so initial interpretation of that would be that Frankel ran to a mark in the high 120’s or possibly 130, as he won so comfortably. To achieve the highest rating ever, he needs to run in a race where there’s greater strength in depth, and I feel that he can only do that over 10 furlongs. In his races over the last year, he’s really only ever had one horse to beat - Canford Cliffs in this race a year ago, Excelebration in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, JLT Lockinge and Queen Anne, and Farhh this afternoon - but if the likes of Cirrus des Aigles, Nathaniel and St Nicholas Abbey take him on over 10 furlongs, we should get a real handle on just how good he is.”

Extract from Throughbred Daily News

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