08/31/2012 1:25PM

Frankel's finale will come in Champion, not Arc de Triomphe


After turning over the possibility of sending Frankel to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, the connections of the world’s best horse have decided to stick to their original plan and run Frankel in the Champion Stakes on Oct. 20 at Ascot.

The Champion, a Group 1 over 1 1/4 miles that until last year was contested at Newmarket, is expected to be the career finale for Frankel, who has won all 13 of his starts. It had long been in the plans for Frankel’s 2012 campaign, but following Frankel’s blowout victory in the Aug. 22 Juddmonte International, his first start beyond a one-mile trip, the idea of trying the 1 1/2-mile Arc at least came briefly into play. The Arc is Europe’s most prestigious race, and it would have showcased Frankel racing outside England for the first time.

But the more daring path was put aside in favor of Frankel remaining well within his comfort zone. Frankel won the about 1 1/4-mile Juddmonte by seven lengths and is the antepost 1-10 favorite to capture the Champion over what figures to be another overmatched collection of rivals.

Danedream defends title in Germany

The world-class filly Danedream, winner of the 2011 Arc, will defend her title Sunday at Baden-Baden in the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Baden, the race that first pointed her out as a standout runner last year.

In her most recent start, Danedream scored a scintillating nose victory over Nathaniel in the Group 1 King George Stakes on July 21 at Ascot. That performance marked a strong rebound after Danedream had labored home fourth a month early in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, and moved her back into the picture as a major player for the 2012 Arc.

Danedream won the 2011 Grosser Preis von Baden by six lengths while racing over a boggy course. Conditions on Sunday are expected to be good, but Danedream needs no particular going, having won last year’s Arc in devastating fashion while running on a course baked hard by heat and drought.

Danedream, ridden by Andrasch Starke for trainer Peter Schiergen, will have seven rivals in the 1 1/2-mile Grosser Preis von Baden. By far the most interesting of them is Pastorius, who has moved far forward this summer for trainer Mario Hofer. Pastorius was an upset winner over 13 rivals on July in the Group 1 German Derby and was even more impressive in a subsequent start. Moving up to face older rivals in the Group 1 Grosser Dallmayr-Preis- Bayerisches Zuchtrennen, a 12-furlong race July 31 at Munich, Pastorious scored a seven-length victory, albeit over no rival anywhere near the class of Danedream.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another let down in Horseracing history, not running the best horse in the world in the Arc is really a shame. If Frankel is really the greatest then why not do this horse proud and run in the tuffest race to win THE ARC. It's really sad for horseracing fans to see Juddmount not try to win the Arc with Frankel. 20 races make a horse great like Man O War or Secretariat. 14 races today do not equal 20 races of the passed when great horses ran against the best.
Steven Simonovich More than 1 year ago
He will fade off into oblivion. No Dubai races, No Arc, No Breeders Cup. Ho-Hum.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Sad but true...
Eric Singer More than 1 year ago
this seems like a super cowardly move - why The Champion and why does this have to be his last race? boring and cowardly. I agree with the others below Santa Anita makes no sense but the Arc would be meaningful and really exciting. I think the racing community should stop calling him the world's best when he has not faced anything. instead he could be called the world's most babied or the most protected.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Leave the Wabbit in his hutch and what does he bring? I agree that the rock-hard courses (?) in Cali are more suited for heavy equipment, at the far end of the spectrum might be Colonial as it was for The Virginia Derby... hock deep. Okay so hold your noses up at the joint but the horses on the course make the race. They have the World to choose from and just fail to put up... Frankel the Great... disappointment. Black Caviar delivered, here we have Frankel and beans.
Aaron McCullough More than 1 year ago
I want Frankel in the Arc - no doubt. But lets not bring Black Caviar into the equation, who hardly stepped out of her distance comfort zone, as Frankel has begun to.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Not trying to matchem but Black Caviars connections flew her a long, long way and she came thru.
findingsymmetry More than 1 year ago
Well I can't blame them for not shipping here; SA's turf isn't turf, it's green asphalt, and OUR horses have no business running on something that hard. But I do think the avoiding the Arc is a bit of a pansy move. What's the harm in trying him in one of the most prestigious turf races in the world? So what if he loses his unbeaten record, he'll have at least gone out there and TRIED.
Richard More than 1 year ago
What a joke! It appears that Juddmonte has gone the way of Jess Jackson. They will stay away from any horse that might challenge them. Henry Cecil normally rises to the occassion but not in this case. Frankel should not even be in the conversation as one of the best ever. They may as well make his name Frankel's Peppers Pride!
Michael Arndt More than 1 year ago
No horse of this quality should be risked over that airport runway they call the Santa Anita dirt surface. The breakdown rate is many times the surfaces he currently runs on. As for winning on tight turns, Walt, I think winning running 10 second furlongs uphill kinds renders that point irrelevant.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
I would think they would be more likely to run in the BC Turf with Frankel if they brought him here anyway, even if some would like to see him run on dirt. If there is enough pressure for Frankel to run in the Classic, however, you have to wonder if BC Ltd., especially if in September there are threats from east coast horsemen not to run in the BC if it's at SA moves the BC Hollywood Park, which has a surface more palatable to east coast dirt. That is something I could see happening, even on short notice if enough eastern horsemen say they won't run in the BC at Santa Anita but would go at Hollywood.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
I suspect there is going to be a LOT of pressure between now and October 20 for Cecil to ship Frankel to the US and run on FIRM turf in the BC Turf or on the DIRT in the BC Classic, the latter is something Kieran Fallon feels SHOULD be done with Frankel. Lets see Frankel handle tighter turns and if on turf much firmer ground than he is used to. If he is a real champion, he should be able to handle that or dirt very well.
neigh sayer More than 1 year ago
That is one of the silliest things I've ever heard. How about we send our top ten turf horses over there to challenge him in his last race. I can hear them laughing.
Greg Hopper More than 1 year ago
I think Snow Fairy is a better horse if she is sound this year
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
As a big defender of Frankel,I find the decision to skip the Arc and stay in England as chicken"bleep". I don't blame him for not shipping to the BC turf but staying in England ? Really ? Zenyatta faced and beat the boys in the BC Classic,then traveled across country to just get beat the next year. Obviously they don't want to risk his unbeaten record.The horses he's beaten is better than American turf horses,but that's not saying much.No proof he's the worlds best unless he goes to the Arc or Japan Cup