The gorgeous son of the great Galileo finished off his nothing short of brilliant career with a nerve racking win in last weekend’s Champion Stakes at Ascot.
In the Champion, Frankel did something I’ve never seen him do before…..he completely missed the start and quickly found himself last in a very talented field of horses including last years Champion stakes winner Cirrus des Aigles and Nathaniel, who finished second and third respectively in this year’s renewal.
The horse or jockey Tom Queally never panicked, they bided their time on the outside and, with about three or so furlongs left, Queally started pumping on his horse and the horse, like normal, responded with an enormous burst of energy.
Not taking any chances, Queally reached back and hit Frankel once left handed and then once right handed and cruised under the wire an almost two length winner
“He traveled around well,” Queally said in an interview yesterday with the BBC. “His class really showed today (Sunday)”
“I cannot believe in the history of racing that there has ever been a better racehorse,” trainer Henry Cecil said. Cecil, who is battling stomach cancer added, “I have enjoyed every moment of training him, although it has been slightly stressful at times. He’s the best that I have ever had and the best that I ever seen”.
“He was laboring on the ground and not happy on it, but he was very relaxed throughout. I have probably got him too relaxed — it used to be the other way’.
“In the end, he had plenty in hand,” Cecil said.
“This was a career-defining performance,” Grimthorpe said of the Champion Stakes. “He was slowly away, but the great thing is that he is so relaxed and he got into a rhythm again. He’s unhustled and relaxed and he had a trouble-free run into the straight. I was confident that he’d put the race to bed and that’s what he did.”
Frankel will now embark upon a stud career at Prince Khalid’s Banstead Manor near Newmarket.
“I won’t miss him because he’ll be 200 yards from my office,” Grimthorpe said smiling.
Frankel head to stud with as high of expectations on him since probably Secretariat. The difference is Secretariat was syndicated….Frankel will not be. He will remain solely owned by one of the most successful breeders in the world, Khalid Abdullah,
On a personal note, it’s a bittersweet end for the superhorse. I would have like to have seen him compete on American soil just one time because come hell or high water, wherever he ran I would have went to go see him….he was that special.
His on demand explosiveness, acceleration, determination and good looks were a sight to behold.
If I converted pounds to dollars correctly, he is valued at about $160 million.
Of all the accolades I’ve heard and seen about this horse, perhaps the greatest one came from three time champion rider Frankie Dettori, who when asked about Frankel responded:
“I’m not really sure what he looks like, I haven’t seen his face; I only saw his backside”.
That quote reminds me of another quote I heard from a certain jockey chasing another great horse. This one came from the great Braulio Baeza, who after finishing second on Twice A Prince, beaten 31 lengths in Secretariat’s tour de force Belmont Stakes said:
“Why isn’t anyone congratulating me? I won the race didn’t I? I mean, I beat every horse I could see”
I just wonder if the comparisons should stop there or not?
Thanks for reading.
Frankel retires, and if my math is correct, he’s worth about $160 million as a stallion
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