08/01/2012 12:48PM

Frankel stays unbeaten by cruising in Sussex


Pick your laudatory adjective – breathtaking, awesome, dominating – and simply type it into the blank space in front of the name of the racehorse, Frankel. The ecstatic roar of praise for Frankel has become nearly as rote as his wins, the latest of which came Wednesday at Goodwood, where, it could be said, Frankel turned in another breathtaking performance, scoring an awesome six-length win in yet another dominant Group 1 triumph, this in the Sussex Stakes.

That Frankel’s a special horse is beyond doubt. His second straight Sussex win came just as easily as his first two tallies of 2012, and Frankel now has won all 12 of his starts over three calendar years. But Frankel continues to boss around overmatched opponents in a mile division he has come to rule.

He had just three opponents in the one-mile Sussex, and one of them, Bullet Train, served as Frankel’s rabbit. Bullet Train jumped to the lead out of the gate as Frankel fell in just behind, while the other two, Farhh and Gabrial, ran third and fourth as the quartet went single file round the Sussex’s one bend. About three furlongs from the finish, jockey Tom Queally edged Frankel out for clear running, and by the quarter-mile mark the pair had shaken loose. Frankie Dettori, on second-favorite Farhh, was pumping mightily on the reins as Queally sat nearly still, the mount beneath him drawing clear using his typically overwhelming acceleration. Victory never seemed in doubt, and Frankel was geared down as he crossed the finish, stopping the timer in 1:37.56 while racing on good turf. Runner-up Farrh had 3 1/4 lengths on Gabrial, with Bullet Train dropping to last.

“He’s an unbelievable horse,” said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for owner-breeder Juddmonte Farms, who stood in Wednesday for trainer Henry Cecil, who stayed home because of health concerns. “He’s much more mature mentally and physically.”

And now, finally, Frankel is set to face a new challenge, with his next start scheduled for Aug. 22 at York in the Group 1 Juddmonte International. That race is contested at a little more than 1 1/4 miles and will be Frankel’s first try at a distance longer than one mile.

“I think it’s hugely exciting that he’s going to step up in trip,” Grimthorpe said. “It’s a new challenge for him and it’s what everybody wants to see him do, and he’s ready to do it.”

Grimthorpe said the 1 1/4-mile Champion Stakes at Ascot on Oct. 20 also was part of the plan for Frankel, but that the 4-year-old Galileo colt might also be considered for the Prix du Moulin on Sept. 16 at Longchamp. Cecil has all year downplayed the possibility of bringing Frankel to Santa Anita for a Breeders’ Cup race this fall.

◗ The Group 2 King George Stakes, a five-furlong dash led by the Australian mare Ortensia, is the highest-class race on Goodwood’s seven-race program Friday.