Frankel scores by seven lengths in Juddmonte International at York
• Classy rivals and new distance prove no problem for colt
• Ailing trainer Sir Henry Cecil present to see 13th success
- guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 22 August 2012 16.08 BST
Frankel barely had to come out of second gear to maintain his unbeaten record and confirm his status as the world’s greatest racehorse when strolling to success by seven lengths in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York. Neither a slow break from the starting stalls nor the move up to a new distance of 10 furlongs proved the remotest hindrance to the champion, backed into odds of just 1-10, who sauntered past his rivals in the home straight and cruised home under Tom Queally.
The three pacemakers, Robin Hood, Windsor Palace and Bullet Train, all ensured that the race was run at a decent pace and the field were soon stretched out. But, riding more confidently than ever before, Queally was content to allow his mount to gradually work into the race and, when he drew alongside St Nicholas Abbey at the two-furlong pole, Joseph O’Brien on the other horse was working twice as hard just to try and keep tabs on the winner.
Instead of the fiery youngster who tormented his rivals with sheer power last year, Frankel is a fully matured racehorse who has gone from strength to further strength this season and he hardly turned a hair, either before the race or after it as he paraded in front of York’s packed grandstands to a hero’s reception.
Godolphin’s Farhh kept on determinedly to deny St Nicholas Abbey of second place by a nose.
The winning trainer, Sir Henry Cecil, who has been struggling to cope with recent sessions of chemotherapy, was at York to watch the race, making his first public appearance for months. He spoke briefly on Channel 4 after the race, saying it had made him feel “about 20 years better”.
“For Henry to bring the horse to York in this shape and for him to perform at this level in front of such a big crowd, it’s like a dream,” said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to the colt’s owner, Khalid Abdullah.