Happy birthday, Frankel! Five of his best Series wins
11 Feb 2018
To celebrate his tenth birthday, we recall some of Frankel's greatest triumphs in the QIPCO British Champions Series
Frankel and Tom Queally with Sir Henry Cecil after winning the QIPCO Champion Stakes on his final start. Picture: Racingfotos.com
Frankel was flawless during his unbeaten 14-race career before being retired at the end of the season as a four-year-old. To celebrate his tenth birthday today, we recall five of his greatest triumphs in the QIPCO British Champions Series.
Frankel started 1-2 favourite after his reappearance win in the Greenham Stakes a fortnight earlier but nobody expected what came next. Immediately sent to the front by Tom Queally, the combination were a dozen lengths clear at halfway and, despite setting fractions a sprinter would be proud of, never looked like coming back to the field. He won by six lengths from Dubawi Gold.
The summer showpiece was billed as a Duel on the Downs between Frankel, who was unbeaten, and Canford Cliffs, who came into the race having won five Group 1 races in succession. The duel never materialised, though, with Frankel thumping his year older rival by five lengths. It was an exceptional performance, for all that Canford Cliffs was not at his best.
Frankel started 1-10 favourite for the first race at Royal Ascot in 2012 but, never one for half-measures, delivered perhaps the most spectacular performance of his career. Leading two out, he surged further and further clear and at the line was 11 lengths ahead of old rival Excelebration. The runner-up showed what a stunning effort that was by landing races at the highest level on his next two starts.
Having carried everything before him over a mile, Frankel was stepped up to ten furlongs for the first time in the race sponsored by his owner, Prince Khalid Abdullah. Initially held up in rear, he swept through to lead two out and accelerated clear. He beat the high-class Farhh by seven lengths – a length more than he had beaten the same rival when landing a second Sussex Stakes on his previous start.
His farewell appearance. Slow away on ground much softer than he had previously encountered, the bookmakers must have harboured early hopes that the horse who started favourite for all 14 of his races might finally fluff his lines. Frankel cruised up the lead a furlong from home, though, and repelled the mud-loving Cirrus Des Aigles, winner of the race the previous year, by a length and three quarters.