06/16/2012 2:08PM

Royal Ascot has pair of superstars in Frankel, Black Caviar


Frankel on one end, Black Caviar on the other: As far as bookends go, the Royal Ascot meeting has done pretty well by itself.

The two most famous horses in the world – Black Caviar unbeaten in her 21 starts, Frankel in his 10 – are the stars of Royal Ascot 2012. Frankel goes in the Queen Anne Stakes on Tuesday’s opening card, while Black Caviar will highlight Saturday’s closing-day program in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. The five-day meet features seven Group 1 races in all, daily processions of royalty into the racecourse, and, of course, tall goofy hats at which most of the rest of the world can giggle.

Tuesday’s opening-day card is, top to bottom, the best racing of the meeting, with two other Group 1’s, the St. James's Palace and the King’s Stand, supporting the Queen Anne. But it is the Queen Anne, the first race of the meeting, that will attract the most attention. That’s because of the presence of Frankel, the best horse in the world according to the World Thoroughbred Rankings created by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities.

Almost a distant memory at this point is the injury scare this spring that briefly seemed to threaten Frankel’s career. The colt was exercising at Newmarket when he rapped the back of his front leg with a hind hoof, the injury putting his training on hold while tests were performed and the affected area closely monitored. The problem turned out to be merely superficial, and Frankel was ready enough for his first start of 2012 to bury five foes in the Group 1 J.T. Lockinge Stakes on May 19 at Newbury. Frankel won that race by five lengths, the seventh time he has recorded a win of four lengths or greater, and he will be expected to turn in a similarly dominant performance Tuesday.

Frankel came nearest to defeat on opening day of Royal Ascot in 2011, winning the St. James’s Palace Stakes by only three-quarters of a length, but the ride from jockey Tom Queally that day was widely blamed for the close call. Nothing similar has since occurred, and at age 2, Frankel won the Royal Lodge over Ascot’s straight-course mile by 10 lengths.

Frankel raced only on good or good-to-firm courses last year at 3, but as of this weekend the ground at Ascot was called soft, and though fair weather before race day should quicken the going somewhat, the turf will be something less than firm. That should prove no obstacle to Frankel, who will have stable-mate Bullet Train serve as a pacemaker as he successfully did in the Lockinge.

Frankel would have to falter to lose Tuesday, since none of his opponents have ever run well enough to beat him at anything close to his best. The opposition is expected to include Excelebration, the Lockinge runner-up who is no match for the favorite, and Strong Suit, who will make his first start since finishing unplaced in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

While England waits excitedly to see Australia’s top sprinter, Black Caviar, in the Diamond Jubilee, another Aussie, Ortensia, is fully capable of landing the King’s Stand over five furlongs. When last seeing action, Ortensia swept powerfully down the middle of the Meydan grass course to impressively capture the Meydan Sprint on Dubai World Cup night.

There is nothing like a Frankel in this year’s St. James’s Palace Stakes, a 3-year-old restricted race. Aidan O’Brien might have the favorite in Irish 2000 Guineas winner Power, and could also start Kentucky Derby flop Daddy Long Legs.

rob More than 1 year ago
frankel just embarrasses the field in the queen anne..i think that solidifies him as best in world if there were any doubts goin into this one
TriniLoo More than 1 year ago
Frankel, Brilliant! Would be nice to see him the US, but unless there is a track to run a straight mile, we won't. Let's see what the Aussie mare can do.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
what are you saying the horse cant take a turn in the states?,hes won around a turn in the uk you know.
nicola c More than 1 year ago
he wont run there and he is been upped in trip to 1mile 2furlongs next time and from then and he wont run on the dirt if the pro ride was still there there would of been a major chance but not now
nicola c More than 1 year ago
he has just destroyed the field there, WHAT A HORSE
nicola c More than 1 year ago
real horses not chemical horses
Eric Singer More than 1 year ago
the reason they don't send him for the BC turf - is they don't have to. the best turf racing is not in America. Court Vision's win over Turralure (with an aging Goldikova) in last year's BC Cup proves my point. Those horses would be up the track at Ascot. If he comes over he wins for fun. I am more interested to see if they try to stretch him out a bit further this year. there is no reason they will not try it, aside from risking his perfect record.
Paul_Tuon More than 1 year ago
I like to add to Eric's point: Goldikova demolished solid BC Mile fields 3 straight years (2008, 2009, 2010) before running a good third in 2011. How many horses, dirt or turf, can accomplish that kind of feat?
owenjamesja More than 1 year ago
If the Brits think Frankel is so good why don't they send him to race in the Breeders Cup mile and let him be truly tested?
Ryan Jones More than 1 year ago
This is a joke right? Euro 3rd and 4th stringers routinely clean up at the breeder's cup (turf races at least).
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
Goldikova 3 times Miesque 2 times six perfections Domedriver spinning world ridgewood pearl barathea royal academy Not 3rd &4th stringers Last Tycoon 3rd stringer 1 out of 12 euro BC miles got taken by a 3rd stringer. _________________________________________________________________________ Court Vision Kip Deville an Oklahoma bred ;-) Miesque's Approval Artie Shiller Singletary Val Royal Silic War Chant Da Hoss 2 Lure 2 Openning Verse Steinlen Royal Heroine CoZZene 16 American BC miles
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
Well you got the 3 & 4 part right ,buttZ... the way it goes is that for every 3 BC miles won by Euros US based horses win 4. LOL.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
You obviously dont know much about racing "be truly tested",usualy the breeders cup turf races are won by 2nd and 3rd rate europeans,when a top euro come for the breeeeders cup mile he usualy demolishes the field like goldikova did 3 years in a row.some other euros that won are barathea(ire),ridgewood pearl(gb),silic(fr),val royal(fr),domedriver(ire),six perfections(fr),royal heroine(ire),last tycoon(ire),steilen(gb),
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
the reason frankel might not come is really because he is so valuable and there are so many more options,he is already facing and beating the best turf horses in the world at home .he has already easily beat Canford cliffs who beat Goldikova,HIS TIMEFORM RATING OF 143,puts him in superstar company,only 4 other horses have rated higher ever the highest sea bird rated 145.
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
Steinlen was trained by DW Lukas . Royal Heroine was US based . Silic & Val Royal were trained by Canani at SA . YOU don't know what you're talking about. Now if you want to talk about where they are bred instead of where they are trained & raced,then the small state of Kentucky blows away any COUNTRY on the planet. You are a loser Ray . Peddle your anti US BS to people with your level of understanding.
josha0105 More than 1 year ago
Frankel and Black Caviar should win easily. http://handicrapper.blogspot.com/
Paul_Tuon More than 1 year ago
Reading the comments it seems that people missed the point. Let me put it this way, Why do they labelled Usain Bolt and Carl Lewis as "Great Champions?" Now those people who don't know who Usain Bolt and Carl Lewis are, they are 200 and 400 metters sprint runners. Did these two runners competed in the 800 metters races to be qualified as "great champions?" Of course they didn't and yet they are "great champions." Now you people expect Black Caviar to compete at 1 mile or longer in order to label her as "great campion." And the same for Frankel, you people expect him to compete in races beyond 1 mile in order to label him as "great champion." Horses have limitations just like people have brain limitations. Let me put it another way just to help you understand. Did Secretariat, Seattle Slew or any other great champions competed in Grade I races at 7 furlongs or less? I'm not talking about their 2yo years where they start out at shorter distances, I'm talking about Gr. I races.
Fred Reardon More than 1 year ago
Secretariat started off his 3yo campaign with a 4 1/2 L win in the G-3, 7F, Bay Shore. Seattle Slew set the 7 F TR at Hia for his 3 yo debut in 1:20 3/5 as he also shattered the 6F mark (1:08 flat) in route. He also started his 4yo yr at 7F. Spectacular Bid kicked off his 3 yo run at 7F at GP and then set the TR at SA in the G-2 Malibu at 1:20 for his 4 yo season opener. Good horses run fast and the best go long. Have nothing but respect for Black Caviar and Frankel and what they have done. The game has changed and yet one can see the greatness in the different shades that daring brightness produces.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
In human racing, the 100 meter dash is the premier race. I'm not sure how this came to be, but that's the way it's been for a while now. It's the glamour track and field event at the Olympics. In thoroughbred racing, however, sprinting is held in far less prestige than races at 10 furlongs or even a mile. Maybe it's because when we talk of the fastest horses over a short distance, like 2 furlongs, we're talking about quarter horses. What makes thoroughbreds so unique and special is that they have speed to be competitive with quarter horses at a half mile, but unlike that breed thoroughbreds can continue to carry that speed up to a mile, 10 furlongs, 12 furlongs, and even 2+ miles. Thus, it is the distances in the 8-12 furlong range, races that test both speed and endurance, that have come to be seen as the most prestigious. Black Caviar does not have to win a race at a mile or over to be great. However, as a sprinter, something seen by most thoroughbred racing nations as a niche, she will never be placed on an equal plain with the great classic distance runners. That's just the way it is.
B More than 1 year ago
On September 28, 1974 Forego won the Grade One Woodward Stakes at a mile and a half. Three weeks later he won the Vosburgh Handicap at seven furlongs, carrying 131 lbs,. clinching the 1974 Spint Eclipse Award. Three weeks later he won the Jockey Club Gold Cup run at Two Miles putting an exclamation point on his 1974 Horse of the Year season. In 1968 Dr. Fager swept the Eclipse Awards winning sprinter, turf, handicap and Horse of the Year awards. His campaign that year showed incredible versatility that we do not see in today's champions. You must remember that Carl Lewis was so great because he was much more than just a sprint champion. In addition to his Olympic Gold medals in the one and two hundred meters, he also won four gold medals in consecutive Olympics in the long jump. It was his dominance plus his versatility that made him an all time great. Make no mistake Frankel and Black Caviar are tremendous talents. However testing their talents to see if they can expand their resumes to do something great and different will only heighten their place in the history of the sport. In the end, this will be a greater legacy for them, than putting together long winning streaks by doing the same type of things over and over against the same level of competition.
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
They didn't have Eclipse awards until 1971 ,but thats a technicality. Your point about Dr Fager is well taken. How about Ack Ack. BSB
Irish More than 1 year ago
The Bookies over there have a proposition bet-------------------- Both horses to win by at least 5 lengths each--------------------- 8/1
Irish More than 1 year ago
Frankel by 11. One to go to collect---------- P.S. It's always that last leg that gets ya. I still consider it a great bet win,lose or draw How often do you get a $22 double opportunity here? or anywhere? with the 2 best horses in the meeting. My brother got me on @ 10/1 openers. I will now bet big against Black Caviar whom I think is over rated and still have a profit and maybe a killing if I can bring up an exacta or Tri on their tote or a big outsider. and to think I practically gave em up after Smarty Jones lost the Triple Crown. Time to get Timeform and the Sporting Life.If anyone has any ideas please share. Tx.
Irish More than 1 year ago
Lost-------------------but what fun ! I still think Black Caviar can beat American Speed. I think The Factor (on a good day?!?) would beat him by 7.
Irish More than 1 year ago
Sorry-------------I meant "can not beat"
himmelle More than 1 year ago
Any chance they might come to the Breeders Cup?