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Frankel slams Juddmonte International Stakes rivals at York

Updated: Wednesday, 22 Aug 2012 20:55 | Comments

Frankel relished the step up in trip on his first visit to the Knavesmire
Frankel relished the step up in trip on his first visit to the Knavesmire

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Frankel stretched his unbeaten record to 13 when treating his legion of supporters to another breathtaking performance in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York.

The world's highest rated racehorse took the step up from a mile to 10 and a half furlongs in his stride as he justified odds of 1-10 without being asked a serious question.

Leading two furlongs out in the hands of Tom Queally, the Henry Cecil-trained colt pulled away to score with consummate ease to lift this Group One prize, sponsored by his owner Khalid Abdullah.

The running was made by Robin Hood and Windsor Palace, the two pacemakers for the Aidan O'Brien-trained St Nicholas Abbey.

They set out to try to find any chinks in the Frankel armour, but it was a lost cause.

Frankel, taking his career earnings to over £2million, was held up in seventh place in the early stages before making stealthy progress to stalk St Nicholas Abbey early in the straight.

He sauntered into the lead with the minimum of fuss and swept into a clear lead within a heartbeat.

Frankel's winning margin was seven lengths, but it could have been much further.

Farhh pipped St Nicholas Abbey by a nose in a hard-fought race for second place.

His heroics also witnessed an emotional return to the track for the much-loved Cecil, who has been receiving ongoing treatment for cancer and has not wanted to pick up other infections.

He said: "That was great, wasn't it?

"It's fantastic. It's great for Yorkshire, they are very supportive of racing and they deserve to see him."

"It's hard to believe and I've never seen anything like it."

"It's hard to believe and I've never seen anything like it" - Henry Cecil

Asked how it made him feel, the trainer said: "Twenty years better."

Queally said: "I suspected they'd go a good gallop, but we had our plan in place. It panned out nicely - he won ever so well.

"It's a fantastic training performance.

"I gave them enough of a lead for the pace we were going and he won ever so well. He's certainly as good (over a mile and a quarter as a mile).

"Every man and his dog seemed to want to put their penny's worth in to say where he should run, but to run him in the owner's race and for him to make it 13 out of 13 speaks for itself.

"I'm delighted to be a part of it."

Frankel, who has been ridden in all of his races by Queally, is now just one short of 10 Group One victories.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for Prince Abdullah, said: "For Henry and the team to bring Frankel in such great shape to York, in front of a brilliant crowd who appreciated him, is absolutely fantastic.

"Then for the horse to perform like he did, it's a dream, isn't it? "The way he just comes there and does it is simply wonderful."

Although it had been widely considered his final start would be on Champions Day at Ascot on 20 October 20, connections have not entirely shut the door on a mouthwatering trip to Longchamp for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Grimthorpe said: "He's not in there (the Arc). Henry didn't want him in the race and he'd have to supplemented.

"There will be a discussion and we'll have to see.

"The plan was always Ascot (Champion Stakes or QEII) but we'll have to see how he comes out of race."

Of a possible tilt at the Arc, Prince Abdullah added: "I will discuss things Henry and it depends on what he wants to do.

"I didn't think a mile and a quarter was a problem, but further than that, I'm not sure."

Farhh's trainer Saeed bin Suroor accepted Frankel was "in a different class".

"My horse has tried very hard, but he has finished second again. As we knew before, the winner is in a different class to everything else We have no plans for him, but we will try to find a race without Frankel."

O'Brien was similarly pleased with St Nicholas Abbey.

"The winner is an incredible horse and we're delighted with our fellow."

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