02 AUG 2012 | RACENEWS NEWSLINK Super racehorse Frankel duly won his twelfth race on Wednesday – and eighth at Group One level – when taking the QIPCO Sussex Stakes over 160m at Goodwood for owner Prince Khalid Abdulla, trainer Sir Henry Cecil and jockey Tom Queally.
Prince Khalid’s racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe said: “Wasn’t that a magnificent performance by the world’s greatest!
“Settling him is going to be important for his future races and to get him into that nice rhythm on a good rein, but well held. Today he has done that and it will have been just what Henry was looking for.
“Henry was very firm in his view that he wanted to use this race as a stepping stone for the Juddmonte International at York [August 22, for which he is now a 1/4 shot with Ladbrokes] and everything fell into place nicely. He’s getting to be the finished article. I’ve often said you cannot come for races like this half prepared or you could end up looking stupid, so he came here pretty much on top of his game.
“There are two obvious races left for him, the Juddmonte and the Champion Stakes [at Ascot, October 20], but there is a gap of nearly two months between them and Henry may decide to give him a race in between, possibly something like the Prix du Moulin.
“We’ve always said we want to do the right thing for the horse, and we’ve never shied away from a race. We just want to give him the best chance to show himself as the best, and if there’s a race to do that in then we’ll go for it. At the moment Ascot will be his farewell.”
Frankel frightened off all but three rivals today (one was his pacemaker) and Grimthorpe was asked if it is possible the horse might retire from racing without ever revealing his true ability. He said: “We all have a pretty good idea how good he is now – this is not the Pony Club and we’re not trying to jump over every skittle. Who he takes on is something that is out of our hands. I’m biased, but I’ve never seen any horse as good as him.”
Neither Sir Henry nor Prince Khalid were present on Wednesday – Sir Henry is working from home while recovering from cancer treatment, while Prince Khalid has recently undergone back surgery in America.
Asked for his appraisal of the trainer, Grimthorpe said: “He’s the most exceptional trainer and has proved that time and again. His re-emergence is one of the great sporting stories and truly remarkable, and we are very lucky to have Frankel in such good hands.
“The world-class trainers have a feel and knack for a horse, and they know what their horses should be doing – they don’t have to ask the question, ‘should I do this or that?’ because they have a firm idea. That said they can be flexible and will say, ‘let’s give this horse an easy day’ or whatever.
Of Tom Queally, Grimthorpe said: “He’s built a great affinity with the horse and they know each other. Earlier in Frankel’s career he was probably dictating what he wanted to do, but now it’s a very good combination and Tom gets on with him beautifully. It’s marvellous to watch.”
Frankel and Tom Queally, picture Liesl King
Tom Queally, Frankel’s rider, added: “He is a class apart from any other horse around at the moment and it’s great to be a part of it.
“I came into the race thinking that there wasn’t anything that could beat him but you have to treat every race with a great deal of respect. In a Group One race you have to treat every horse with respect and Bullet Train included is a good horse. I was keeping an eye on all eventualities.
“Turning into the straight I slipped him an inch of rein. You don’t have to do much on him – he’s so competitive and he has a will to win like no other horse I’ve ever ridden.”
Lord Grimthorpe, who was at Goodwood with the Juddmonte supremo’s son Prince Ahmed, said: “Bullet Train went a nice pace and Tom (Queally) let Frankel roll down the hill before letting out a few inches of rein and then he just quickened as he does which is so fantastic.
“It’s so pleasurable to watch Frankel in action and he is an unbelievable horse.
“He is much more mature mentally and physically. Henry and everyone have done such a fantastic job at Warren Place including Shane, who rides him regularly, and it has been a great team effort to get him absolutely spot on.
“I think it’s hugely exciting that he is stepping up in trip at York (in the Juddmonte International – August 22). It is a new challenge for Frankel and I think it’s what everyone wants to see him do and I think he is ready to do it.
“Frankel is something else and we are so lucky to have him – we are tremendously fortunate – and he is a wonderful equine.”