Updated on 05/19/2012 12:44PM

England: Frankel crushes in Lockinge at Newbury


When an elite racehorse suffers any kind of injury, one immediately wonders if he has raced for the last time, a situation doubly true when a horse has never lost. So, when news came that Frankel had rapped the tendon on a foreleg while training in April toward his 2012 debut, it was fair to consider the chance the colt would never start again.

But 4-year-old Frankel has made it back, and from the look of the J.T. Lockinge Stakes on Saturday at Newbury in England, he is just as good as ever.

Despite missing 12 days of training with what turned out to be a fairly superficial injury, Frankel was on his game in the one-mile Lockinge. Pulling slightly more than desirable in the early stages of the straight-course mile, he nevertheless let jockey Tom Queally rate him behind stablemate and pacemaker Bullet Train for the first six furlongs of the Lockinge. And when, about two furlongs from the finish, Queally said ‘Okay,’ Frankel made short work of the race.

Getting low to the ground and stretching out with powerful strides, Frankel quickly opened a clear lead in the final quarter-mile. The Group 1 winner Excelebration had shadowed Frankel’s every move, but he had no answer for Frankel’s acceleration. Frankel beat him by five lengths to run his career record to 10 wins – six in Group 1 competition – without a loss. Dubawi Gold rallied from last to get third. Strong Suit, who wants firmer turf than the good-to-soft going found Saturday at Newbury, was scratched. Time for the mile was 1:38.14.

Frankel, a Galileo colt bred and owned by the Juddmonte Farms of Khalid Abdullah, has twice been a champion, and odds as low as 3-5 are being offered by English betting houses on Frankel completing his career without a loss. There seems to be no horse in the Western Hemisphere who can challenge him over one mile on turf. Black Caviar, the unbeaten Australian sensation, is scheduled to race in England next month, but she has so far been more sprinter than miler. To find any sort of challenge, Frankel, who has never raced beyond one mile, will need to step up in distance, something his connections have said is in the cards this season. But that distance test might not come right away. Frankel is expected to start next month at Royal Ascot, but could wind up in the one-mile Queen Anne rather than the 1 1/4-mile Prince of Wales’s Stakes.