Frankel made a breathtaking start to his four-year-old career by pulverising the opposition in the JLT Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.

Ridden by Tom Queally, the Henry Cecil-trained colt scorched clear in the one-mile feature to extend his unbeaten winning spree to 10 races.

The Khalid Abdullah-owned superstar was sent off the 2-7 favourite and his supporters never had an anxious moment as he swept to an effortless victory by five lengths.

His old adversaries, Excelebration and Dubawi Gold, were second and third respectively.

Queally said: "It's a great relief he's come back. He's grown up from last year, he's thicker set. If you look at him now, he's the real deal - he's filled out since last year.

"He showed that burst of acceleration. He's not like anything I've sat on before."

Bullet Train, Frankel's regular work partner and three-parts brother, shot out of the stalls, with Queally happy to sit in just two lengths behind.

And it could have been a normal gallop at home as Frankel took up the running in an instant and soon put daylight between himself and the five other runners.

Try as Joseph O'Brien could on Excelebration, he could get nowhere near Frankel and had to settle for more minor honours behind his nemesis. Dubawi Gold did best of the rest, a further four lengths away.

Cecil said: "He always takes a little bit of a hold, but he quickened up so well. The first race is never his best race, he always improves for the race.

Cecil added: "He's done everything right considering he was sidelined. I'm delighted for the Prince (Khalid Abdullah) and the staff.

"Every sport, they need a champion. It gets everyone involved and it's good for racing."

Frankel was already the world's highest-rated racehorse before his Lockinge success - his sixth triumph at the highest level.

Winner of the Dewhurst Stakes to cap his juvenile season, Frankel posted four more group One victories last season in the 2000 Guineas, St James's Palace Stakes, Sussex Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

His latest devastating display is a world away from the scare just over a month ago when his racing career was in the balance after he suffered a leg injury.

Thankfully for all racing fans, as well as his sporting connections, he received the all-clear to carry on following a positive scan a week later.

Although Frankel missed 10 days' work, his preparation for the Lockinge went to perfection after that with a couple of racecourse gallops at Newmarket helping to bring him to peak fitness for his first run of the year.

The remarkable son of Galileo is now in line to run at Royal Ascot next month, where he will take up an engagement in either the one-mile Queen Anne Stakes of the Prince of Wales's Stakes over 10 furlongs.

Cecil said: "He's in the two (races) at Ascot and we'll take it step by step.

"He has definitely got stronger this year and you have to be thrilled with him as when you have a hiccup in the lead-up to the race then it is not very funny and it has not been straightforward.

"He has had a good blow afterwards and, looking at his career so far. he has always improved from his first race and you would expect him to do the same.

"The last few weeks have not been very straightforward and I am very happy for the Prince and I am very lucky to have the horse.

"It is lovely for racing and thank goodness that he came through the setback."