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Frankel in a class of his own

22 Aug 2012

The extra quarter of a mile made no difference to the world's greatest racehorse as he pulverised the opposition in today's Juddmonte International Stakes at York.

Frankel leaves his rivals toling in his wake in York’s Juddmonte International Stakes. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

Frankel put up arguably his most brilliant performance to date at York this afternoon, winning his 13th consecutive race with devastating ease in front of a crowd of over 30,000 people, more than 50% up on last year.

He made a seamless transition from Mile to Middle Distance, annihilating his rivals over the extended mile and a quarter of the Juddmonte International Stakes to win by an easy seven lengths.

Coral-Eclipse runner-up Farhh held second by a nose from the dual Investec Coronation Cup and Breeder’s Cup Turf winner, St Nicholas Abbey.

All will be revealed with Frankel’s rating tomorrow, with everyone waiting to see if it will rise from its current 140, perhaps to match or even eclipse the all-time high of 141 awarded to Dancing Brave in 1986.

Tom Queally settled Frankel near the back of the field and he was always cruising as the pacemakers for St Nicholas Abbey, Robin Hood and Windsor Palace, set a blistering pace to try to exploit any stamina weakness in the world’s best racehorse.

It never looked like coming off, however, and when Frankel cruised past St Nicholas Abbey and Farhh with over two furlongs to run, it was game over.

He sauntered clear and showed no sign of stopping when he hit the line with clear daylight between him and his two main opponents as they battled it out for second place.

Last year’s Juddmonte winner, Twice Over, a stablemate of Frankel, was a further six lengths back in fourth.

The triumphant jockey said: "I suspected they’d go a good gallop, but we had our plan in place.

“I gave them enough of a lead for the pace we were going and he won ever so well.

"Every man and his dog seemed to want to put their penny’s worth in to say where he should run, but to run him in the owner’s race and for him to make it 13 out of 13 speaks for itself. I’m delighted to be a part of it."

Sir Henry Cecil, the jubilant trainer, said: "That was great, wasn’t it?

"It’s fantastic. It’s great for Yorkshire, they are very supportive of racing and they deserve to see him."

Asked how it made him feel, the trainer, who is in the midst of ongoing treatment for cancer, said: "Twenty years better."

Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to Frankel’s owner Prince Khalid Abdulla, said: "For Henry and the team to bring Frankel in such great shape to York, in front of a brilliant crowd who appreciated him, is absolutely fantastic.

"Then for the horse to perform like he did, it’s a dream, isn’t it?

"The way he just comes there and does it is simply wonderful.

"It’s hard to believe and I’ve never seen anything like it."

Frankel’s final race is likely to be the QIPCO Champion Stakes, the highlight of QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday 20 October, though there is the intriguing possibility that he could run in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp over a mile and a half 13 days earlier.

Connections will take a little time to decide with Prince Khalid saying: "I will discuss things Henry and it depends on what he wants to do.

"I didn’t think a mile and a quarter was a problem, but further than that, I’m not sure."