Updated on 06/22/2012 12:58PM

Royal Ascot: Frankel dominates Queen Anne Stakes

Martin Lynch/Racing Post
Frankel pulls away to an 11-length romp in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Imagine the New York Yankees playing a semi-pro team from rural Wisconsin, and you will get an idea what Frankel is doing to the other milers who have dared face him in England.

Frankel started in the first race of the 2012 Royal Ascot season Tuesday, the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes, and quickly put his indelible stamp on the five-day meeting, storming to an 11-length victory over Excelebration. The Queen Anne probably was the best race of Frankel’s illustrious career and certainly ranks among the top one-mile performances seen anywhere in a long, long time. Timeform, the prominent English racing company, assigned Frankel a rating of 147, the highest in the company’s history, which dates to 1948.

“He’s just amazing,” jockey Tom Queally said in a post-race press conference.

Frankel has now won all 11 of his starts, seven at the Group 1 level, and his two wins this year at age 4 have appeared especially dominant. Excelebration, a Group 1 winner in his own right, has lost five times to Frankel, but never has been so thoroughly humbled as on Tuesday.

“It looks like he’s getting better,” Queally said. “I didn’t think it was possible, but he is.”

The World Thoroughbred Rankings already had Frankel pegged as the best horse on the planet before the Queen Anne, and it would be no surprise if his performance Tuesday improved his rating of 138. And now, as promised by his connections, the time appears ripe for Frankel to finally take at least a small step outside his firmly established comfort zone and try something new.

Plans for Frankel’s next start haven’t been firmly set, but the 1 1/4-mile Eclipse Stakes on July 7 at Sandown Park seems like the leading candidate. Frankel has yet to race beyond one mile, and despite his authoritative performances up to eight furlongs, there remains skepticism from some quarters concerning Frankel’s ability to translate his brilliance into longer races. Moreover, there are probably a handful of stronger 1 1/4-mile horses roaming Europe this year than milers, and Frankel could face somewhat sterner opposition.

Henry Cecil, who trains Frankel for owner-breeder Juddmonte Farms, attempted to let Frankel’s performance Tuesday speak for itself.

“He is a great horse, and you’ve seen him for yourself, so everybody can form their own opinion,” Cecil said.

Cecil said he felt more relief than anything at the Queen Anne result.

“There’s no such thing as a certainty,” he said.

What does seem increasingly certain is that Frankel will not cross the Atlantic. Cecil has steadily downplayed the possibility of Frankel racing in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup, and he threw more cold water on that idea Tuesday, calling Frankel’s participation “very unlikely.”

The Queen Anne outcome offered little suspense once Frankel, who had been racing in fourth position, came out of a pocket with about three furlongs left to run. Nudging Excelebration out of the way for a clear path, Frankel and Queally moved to take the lead, and while Excelebration counter-punched when attacked, a knockout blow soon landed, with Frankel taking a lead of several lengths to the furlong grounds and widening with every stride. The winning margin was Frankel’s largest since he captured a conditions race in the second start of his career in 2010. Time for the mile over good-to-soft going was 1:37.85. Excelebration finished a neck in front of Side Glance, with Indomito third.

Little Bridge wins King’s Stand

In other major Ascot races Tuesday, Hong Kong invader Little Bridge captured the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes over five furlongs, while Most Improved held off Hermival to win the Group 1 St. James’s Palace Stakes.

Little Bridge, a 6-year-old who never had won at the Group 1 level, became the second Hong Kong-based horse to win at Royal Ascot.

The St. James’s was marred by the fatal breakdown of The Nile, another Juddmonte runner. When The Nile went wrong at the top of the homestretch, he threw several horses off stride, including the favored Aidan O’Brien-trained runner, Power.

russell More than 1 year ago
I will never forget the Marlboro Cup when Seattle Slew faced Affirmed. Slew was 2nd choice at 2/1 and when he came onto the track my dad saw him so jacked up. He said, "son there is no way this horse will lose". Cordero replaced Cruguet and he pretty much stole the race. Slew was coming off a bad loss to Dr Patches at the Meadowlands and thats why he was second choice.
russell More than 1 year ago
i hate when people compare great horses instead of just appreciating them. My father took me to Belmont in the late 70's and early 80s. I saw Forego, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid, and John Henry. Those were immortals and thats why I feel in love with the sport. How can you really say one was better than the other. Unfortunately, i dont think I've seen a horse that good until Frankel. Frankel might be an immortal and I would love to see him in NY.
russell More than 1 year ago
It would be great to see Frankel in the States. But seldom are racing decisions made in the interests of fans. if he ran at Saratoga the crowd would be so huge they would have to close the gates. I cant think of a better spot for his next race.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All you brit posters should be ashamed of yourselves with your negative comments.You do realise that we Americans invented horse racing and all your famous races are named after our founding fathers President Derby and President Oaks.I know this is true cos my history teacher in grade 10 told me so
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm American.South American not North American
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
Did your daddy come through the pipeline from germany after the war ?
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
You are british . Only limeZ spell realiZe -realise
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
If you're South American shouldn't that be Dictator Derby & Cartel Oaks ? You are a terrible liar & should go back to 10th grade.
PeterG More than 1 year ago
Secretariat only ran in another country once and it was to Woodbine in Canada in his last race. Not exactly a long journey. Not sure about the quality of that field either. http://www.secretariat.com/past-performances/
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beaten by an onion,should have seen the tears
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Secratariat went to Longchamp and beat their best winning the Arc by 10 lenghts I believe.I know this right because my history teacher in grade10 told me so
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
You never had a history teacher in grade 10. You are obviously a grammer school drop out.
Eric Singer More than 1 year ago
I just watched the Ascot Gold Cup - in the US the winner would have come down. As Opinion Poll began to run by him, Dettori came out on him, not once but twice, almost knocking him sideways and certainly affecting his stride. Stewards have different rules to follow in the UK than here - they would have to feel sure the infraction cost the other horse the win. Here - the question would be could it have cost him the win - to my mind it certainly could.
PeterG More than 1 year ago
Don't agree with you. He did come over but it wasn't as bad as you're making it out to be. It was a smart move by Dettori, it got the horse to give a final surge to the wire.
Eric Singer More than 1 year ago
Hi Peter - we can agree to disagree - I thought the bumping completely impeded the other horse's momentum. I think a jock at average track would get days for a maneuver like that. yes it got a final surge because the other horse was thrown off. I am not saying they should have changed the result - I think it was consistent with Brittish racing rules - I just feel that if it was here the result would have been different - and again respect your opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Racing isn't great unless the betting is great . The betting can't be great unless the information is there to make it great.
t More than 1 year ago
imagine a hockey team from alaska playing the new york rangers
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No imagine the NY rangers playing a hockey team from LA . LOL.
Chris Anthony More than 1 year ago
Time for Frankel to venture across the Pond. Looks good in the BC Turf Mile Maybe no can beat. How come he didn;t go to Dubai?
Perl More than 1 year ago
Because he is worth $50m+ as a sire and so his connections are coddling him and avoiding any real challenges. It would be too risky to send him to Dubai or the USA. The insurance would probably be through the roof. It's probably a business decision more than anything.
Robert Smith More than 1 year ago
Flying horses is a risky business.
Angela Smirkel More than 1 year ago
Perl15 hours ago Because he is worth $50m+ as a sire and so his connections are coddling him and avoiding any real challenges Your mother must have beat you real hard with the idiot stick