Invincible Frankel set for October swansong
- BY:TONY ARROLD
- From:The Australian
- August 27, 2012 12:00AM
Frankel streets his rivals in the Juddmonte International at York on Wednesday. Picture: AP Source: AP
THE extraordinary racing career of Frankel is nearing a close, with his mesmerised army of fans hoping he will be seen twice more but with just one more exhibition the more likely outcome.
Frankel’s cavalier seven-length win in the Group I Juddmonte International (2100m) at York, England, on Wednesday was the one the horse’s trainer Henry Cecil really wanted for the powerhouse son of Galileo.
The feature weight-for-age race is sponsored by the British-US Juddmonte breeding operation of Frankel’s breeder-owner, Prince Khalid Abdullah.
Cecil has trained four winners of the Juddmonte International, and the quartet includes the past two for the sponsor with home-breds Twice Over and Frankel.
And the 2012 running was Frankel’s first test beyond the mile trip, over which he has been invincible. That Frankel might be vulnerable stepping up to 2100m on Wednesday was a thought which crossed the minds of his most ardent fans. Briefly.
This was the one time in 18 career starts that the Brigadier suffered defeat.
No such fate for Frankel, though, as he extended his unbeaten record to 13, posting his eighth Group I win. He had two runners behind him for most part, then idled up to join the leaders 300m from the finish before unleashing his awesome lift of acceleration and going clear in a matter of strides. And on hand to enjoy the day out was owner Prince Khalid and trainer Cecil, both putting aside health issues to be together for the first time this year to see first-hand the weapon of mass destruction Frankel has matured into.
Frankel’s finale is set for Ascot in the third week of October but Cecil wonders if the bay horse will need a run between now and then. He is looking to a Group I in France over 1600m in mid-September to maintain bounce in the horse, if needed.
There is mild talk and speculation that Frankel, having more than adequately handled 2100m, can stretch his class to 2400m for Europe’s richest race, the Group I Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on October 7.
With Arc victories by his colour bearers Dancing Brave, Rainbow Quest and Workforce, Prince Khalid does not need to win the race again this year.
British bookmaking firm Ladbrokes is not taking an Arc run seriously as Frankel is not listed on a market which has English Derby winner Camelot 3-1 favourite, ahead of defending titleholder Danedream (11-2), Nathaniel (13-2), Meandre (12-1), Snow Fairy (14-1) and St Nicholas Abbey (16-1).