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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.
Frankel is the best turf horse period. Why travel to U.S to face second rate competition. When it comes to turf racing usa is far behind. none of our horses ever win on turf at the dubai festival. Europe sends horses to the states that cant win there and all of a sudden they are winning high allowance races here. want to see frankel in the arc and watch him have another open length win. nobody has been within 5 lengths of him in his group 1 wins. The horses he beats would come to The US and take our grade 1's. might be the best turf horse of all time
Up to this point in his career the only horse that can be compared to Frankel is Brigadier Gerard who retired as a 4-year-old with 17 wins from 18 starts, and until recently was the 2nd highest Timeform rated horse behind the legendary Sea Bird. I say that BG is the only one, because his and Frankel's 3 and 4-year-old campaigns have many common races. Both won the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, although I would argue that BG's performance was even more impressive than that eye-popping tour de force put on by Frankel last year at Newmarket. Why? Because BG beat a stronger though smaller field which included the two top rated 2-year-olds of 1970, My Swallow and Mill Reef, while making his seasonal debut in that classic. Can anyone name a KY Derby winner who won it on his reappearance? The Brigadier then went on to win the St James's Palace, Sussex and QE II a la Frankel, but then went one better by winning the Champion Stakes (then run over the 1 1/4 straight at Newmarket) a race that had seen the great Nijinsky bow out of the game the previous year a loser to Lorenzaccio. As Lord Grimthorpe and Henry Cecil decided to limit Frankel to a mile at 3, I give BG's 3-year-old campaign the edge over Frankel's. This year the comparisons aren't quite as obvious. To date Frankel has only raced in two of BG's 4-year-old races, The Lockinge and the Juddmonte. While BG was graduated to longer distances after the Lockinge, winning the Prince of Wales's, Eclipse and King George before his shocking defeat by Roberto in what is now known as the Juddmonte International, Frankel had been up to this point merely repeating his post Guineas campaign. I would admit that the encores have been better than the original performances, and his winning style far more effortless that those of the Brigadier. Based on this observation, the 4-year-old campaign vote goes to Frankel, especially as he has now won the only prize ever to elude BG, and has erased any doubts as to his middle distance capabilities. To those who are still non-believers, nothing short of a mile and a half victory will do. Then and only then would they be able to gauge him against the mighty Sea Bird. Unfortunately I have little recollection of the latter, being in class the day he won at Epsom (the Derby was traditionally run on a Wednesday in the old days), and live TV of the Arc had yet to begin. So I know only of his reputation and what I have seen of grainy footage. I would argue that based on their bodies of work that both Frankel and Brigadier Gerard could be rated higher, Sea Bird having run only 8 times in his career with a modest 5 race win streak during his unblemished 3-year-old campaign. His legend is based on the two big wins (Derby and Arc) both a piece de resistance. Had Nijinsky, who defeated Sea Bird's son Gyr easily at Epsom, not fallen a nose short of winning at Longchamps that October, how high would he, as the UK's longtime last Triple Crown winner, have been rated? Now to those in the USA for whom only a Breeders Cup win would suffice. I ask you what is the record of the European invaders in the Mile and the Turf? And, Goldikova excepted, many of those are the second and third stingers who have won those races. As for racing in the Classic, I remind you that Twice Over finished 2 lengths behind Zenyatta in 2009, although that was on the synthetic surface.
We have heard it all before. Rock of Gibraltar, Dubai Millennium, Sea the Stars, and what was the mares name that beat Goldikova 3 times...I forget. Anyway, Rock of Gibraltar lost in the BC and the rest of these were too afraid to run in the States. Goldikova is the only True Champion. The connections of that mare had balls! 3 time Champ! The bottom line is, you cannot call Frankel the best ever. Nobody says that about Ghostzapper and he would CRUSH Frankel.
Just wondering about the 140 rating Frankel got for the Juddmonte. Sea the Stars won with a much faster time (well over a second faster) in 2009.Does anyone recall what his rating was for that race ? Was the course playing that much faster in 2009 ?
Here are some surprising facts. - Over 90% of DRF's American readers have never watched the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on live TV before. If you have watched the Arc, you would know that it is a race where the best horses sometimes don't win because the 20-horse fields make the trips very influential. Therefore Frankel's connection would never run him in the Arc. They are way too concerned about his unbeaten legacy. - this is more surprising than even the above: over 80% of DRF's American readers have not heard of the British Champion Stakes. Of those who have, over half of them are not aware that it is the UK's top middle distance race for older horses. This is most likely Frankel's next race. Yes, it is a very prestigious race.
Americans should pay attention to reality and stop being so biased,the breeders cup and the k derby may be the holy grail of american racing but its not seen the same way by Europeans and others a horse like Frankel has nothing to gain by flying halfway around the world for a race that has a comparable purse to the prix de arc de triomphe,and is much less prestigious,if I had a choice of wich I would prefer to win it would be the arc over any breeders cup race any day.frankel just whipped st Nicholas abbey a breeders cup winner so what else is there to prove,especially since the best horses are going to go to the arc not the breeders cup that's probably going to be won by a second srtinger euro anyway .seriously even the triple crown is kind of lame the Kentucky derby is a great race then the Preakness is ok and the Belmont is usually a joke,with very little quality.i propose a new triple crown with a 10 million bonus for the winner of all 3 legs and 5 million for the best results over the series,it would start in Dubai with the UAE derby 1 1/4 then move to the Kentucky derby also at 1 1/4 miles and would end with the epsom derby at 1 1/2 miles.this would be a truly phenomenal achievement 3 different surfaces synthetic,dirt,grass in 3 different country's and much better spaced than our triple crown,about a month between each race.
The Breeders Cup needs this horse badly if they are going to have a sell out crowd. Frankel is a monster and its a shame we will never get to see his talents in person here in America. The fields he has beaten over there are so much better then anything we could put up against him over here. I mean Little Mike! lol His speed demon ways has shown the world how weak our horses are.
If Frankel is the best horse to have ever lived, well then run him in the Arc and some other top international races (come to LA for BC and I may just have to go). Until then let's not get too carried away. I read connections planned to run in Champion Stakes where he is 1-10 in the future book then retire him to the breeding shed! That would not be very sporting after he destroyed that Juddmonte field. Do Saudi princes need to base decisions on economics these days, also?
Excelebration wins against a good field in France after getting trounced 5 times by Frankel who beat him by a combined 30 lengths in those races.Please send this horse to France to run in the Arc.No sense running him again in England as he is unbeatable there and it would add nothing to his resume.
He just destroyed breeders cup winner St Nic Abby. He has unbieliveable turn of foot that is scary??