Updated on 06/17/2011 10:23AM

Ascot: Frankel hangs on in St. James's Palace to remain undefeated

Frankel takes the St. James's Palace on Tuesday's opening day at Royal Ascot.

The style of racing was different, but the result was unchanged – Frankel stretched his unbeaten streak to seven races after a thrilling win in Tuesday’s Group 1 St. James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Unlike his six-length win in the English 2000 Guineas in late April, when he led throughout, Frankel stalked pacesetter Rerouted for the first half-mile of the St. James’s Palace Stakes, took a comfortable lead with a quarter-mile remaining, but was fully extended to win the one-mile race for 3-year-olds.

Ridden by Tom Queally, Frankel won by three-quarters of a length over Zoffany, a 20-1 shot who finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of 10-1 Excelebration.

Although there was no need for a photo, the diminishing margin at the line provided anxious moments for Frankel’s backers, who sent him off as the 3-10 favorite in the field of nine.

“Nobody wanted to chase the pace, so as a result I went sooner rather than later,” Queally said. “He was running for a long way and was just getting a bit fed up in front. He does it so easy.

“He wasn’t getting tired. He’s growing up all the time. Everyone seems to think he can just jump and run, but he’s more versatile than that. We’ve got options with regards to tactics and he’s the one to beat at the moment.”

Trained by Henry Cecil, Frankel won the third Group 1 race of his career in the St. James’s Palace Stakes, the colt’s third start of 2011. Last September, Frankel won his first stakes in the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes over a mile at Ascot, closing from last to win by 10 lengths. Cecil said he wanted to emulate those tactics in the St. James’s Palace Stakes.

“The plan was to kick on rounding the bend, as he had done in the Royal Lodge last year, but now he’s getting wiser and he thought he’d done enough,” Cecil said.

Frankel races for breeder Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms, and is named for the late American Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, who died in November 2009. Bobby Frankel trained the American division of Juddmonte’s runners.

Cecil suggested that Frankel will make his next start in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes over a mile at Goodwood on July 27 or the Juddmonte International Stakes over 1 1/4 miles at York on Aug. 17.

An appearance in the Sussex Stakes could put Frankel against Canford Cliffs and Goldikova, the first two finishers in Tuesday’s Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes, the first race of the Royal Ascot meeting, which continues through Saturday.