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Europe: Frankel going beyond a mile in Juddmonte International Stakes
For all he has accomplished in his unbeaten 12-race career, Frankel has only run two distances – seven furlongs and a mile.
That will change Wednesday, when the 4-year-old Frankel starts at a middle distance for the first time in the Group 1, 1 5/16-mile Juddmonte International Stakes at York, England.
While the distance may be different, other trends are the same: Frankel will be a very heavy favorite. As of Monday, Frankel was 1-8 with British bookmakers to win the Juddmonte. The race is sponsored by Khalid Abdullah, the owner of Juddmonte Farms and the owner of Frankel.
Trained by Sir Henry Cecil, Frankel has raced a mile in his last seven starts, all Group 1 wins. This year, he has made three starts, winning the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May, the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on Aug. 1.
In the Sussex, Frankel was the 1-20 favorite and faced just three rivals. He stalked a stablemate who set the pace for the first five furlongs, took the lead with a quarter-mile remaining, and won by six lengths with ease.
“He has grown up a lot mentally and took it all like a true professional,” Cecil said on his website after the Sussex. “The idea was to be as easy as we could with him as it was a warm-up to the Juddmonte International at York.”
Already considered one of history’s finest milers, Frankel will merit respect among Europe’s middle-distance runners should he live up to expectations in the Juddmonte. Tom Queally, Frankel’s regular rider, has the mount Wednesday.
The Juddmonte will be Frankel’s first start at York.
Cecil has three starters in the Juddmonte, including pacesetter Bullet Train and multiple stakes winner Twice Over, who was third in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita. Farhh, second in the Sussex Stakes, and St Nicholas Abbey, winner of the BC Turf at Churchill Downs last fall, also are part of a field of nine.
St Nicholas Abbey, trained by Aidan O’Brien, is the biggest threat to Frankel. A 5-year-old, he won the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom in June and was third in the Grade 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot last month.
◗ Earlier on the York program, Noble Mission, Frankel’s 3-year-old full brother, starts in the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes for 3-year-olds over 1 1/2 miles. The Great Voltigeur is a prep to the Group 1 St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster on Sept. 15.
Wow! What a great race. He is THE one - dominant and still undefeated. None were close to him at the wire.
Wow! What a performance.
Give credit where due. Frankel is the dominant horse to beat in any race. He hasn't lost one yet!
People saying he needs to come to America to prove himself are wrong. Did Secretariat, Man O' War or Citation go oversees to prove themselves? Does that mean they aren't great? Europeans invented the sport and we copied it. Just like Americand invented basketball and Europe copied it. Think about European basketball fans saying LeBron must go to Europe and play to prove himself. That's what you sound like when you say Frankel must come to America to prove himself. If anything American horses should have to prove themselves in Europe, just like how European basketball players must prove themselves in America. Not many American horses prove themselves oversees.
To suggest that a horse that has not yet won beyond a mile is the greatest of all time is absurd. This is a wonderful and talented colt. But a cream puff campaign will never propel him above the likes of Ribot and Dr. Fager.
Seen him run on the television a few times and while he does look brilliant when running, if doesn't run across the pond and take on Americas best, he won't be "The Best Ever" in my mind!! Just my opinion, but come to Santa Anita for Breeders Cup and show us why we should call you "The Best"!
I'm picturing what 'Peb' may have done for this race,Top Hat and Tails for the Wabbit too?
1 & 5/16 mile is a lot further than one mile. 1-8 favorite under these circumstances. Don't cry when he looses.
If he doesn't come to America for all to see, he will disappear from the casual observer just like Sea the Stars has.
- 1.Posted 12/05/2013 01:44PM
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