Updated on 08/24/2012 1:02PM

York: Frankel cruises in Juddmonte International, longest race of his career


Frankel seems capable of accomplishing anything on a racecourse.

Wednesday, in the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes at York, England, Frankel raced at about 1 5/16 miles, the first time in his career he had gone beyond a mile, and won by an easy seven lengths, extending his unbeaten streak to 13 races.

A 4-year-old colt by Galileo, Frankel has won eight consecutive Group 1 races since May 2011.
Wednesday’s win launched discussions about Frankel’s autumn campaign, with the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe over 1 1/2 miles at Longchamp Racecourse in Paris on Oct. 7 entering the thoughts of his connections for the first time.

The British bookmaker Coral quoted Frankel as the 1-4 favorite for the Arc, if he starts.
Frankel would have to be supplemented to the Arc, but Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for owner Khalid Abdullah, said the option would be discussed with trainer Henry Cecil.

The 69-year-old Cecil, who has been undergoing cancer treatment, attended the Juddmonte. He missed Frankel’s previous win, the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on Aug. 1. Asked how he felt after he saw the Juddmonte result, he said, “20 years better.”

Another option for Frankel this fall is the Champion Stakes at Ascot on Oct. 20. Frankel is the 1-10 favorite in the future book for that race, which is run over 1 1/4 miles on turf.
What was foremost on the minds of observers on Wednesday was the way that Frankel won the Juddmonte, which was sponsored by Abdullah’s farm.

Having previously raced over seven furlongs and a mile, Frankel, the 1-10 favorite, had no difficulty at the longer distance.

Ridden by Tom Queally, Frankel closed from sixth to win by seven lengths over Farhh. St Nicholas Abbey, the winner of the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Turf, finished third in the field of nine.
Queally rode Frankel with confidence. Entering the stretch, Queally brought Frankel to the rail closest to the grandstand. Frankel moved closer to the front with little difficulty and pulled clear under a few right-handed taps from Queally.

“The best horse won and he won comprehensively,” Queally told the press.

Thought Worthy all the way in Great Voltigeur

In Wednesday’s Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes for 3-year-olds at York, Thought Worthy, a 9-1 shot, led throughout 1 1/2 miles to win his first group stakes.

Owned by George Strawbridge and trained by John Gosden, Thought Worthy, by Dynaformer, is a candidate for the Group 1 St. Leger Stakes on Sept. 15.

Frankel’s brother Noble Mission finished fourth in the field of six.

Bated Breath heads Nunthorpe

The Juddmonte-owned Bated Breath, the winner of the Group 2 Temple Stakes at Haydock Park in May, will be a modest favorite in Friday’s Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes over a straightaway five furlongs at York.

Trained by Roger Charlton, Bated Breath was second in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. He was entered for the Group 1 July Cup at Newmarket last month, but was withdrawn because of a rain-soaked turf course.

Bated Breath faces 19 rivals, including the 7-year-old Australian-bred mare Ortensia, who won the Group 2 King George Stakes at Goodwood earlier this month.

[WATCH REPLAY: Frankel wins Juddmonte International]