Ten out of ten for the world’s best racehorse
19 May 2012
Frankel is back and at his brilliant best - indeed he's better! Although it was his first run of the season and he is expected to improve from it, he beat a race fit Excelebration by a length more than he'd beaten him before.
Frankel and Tom Queally come home in splendid isolation in this afternoon’s JLT Lockinge Stakes, winning the tenth race of his unbeaten career. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.
Frankel came back with a bang this afternoon, thrilling a huge Newbury crowd with an awesome performance to slam Excelebration, the second highest-rated miler in the world, by five lengths in the JLT Lockinge Stakes – last year the furthest he beat him by was four lengths.
Any doubts that the injury that he picked up last month, which held him up in his preparation by about 10 days, might make him vulnerable on his first run of the season were quickly dispelled and there is no doubt at all that he has matured and strengthened since last season.
If he wasn’t already last year, he is certainly the real deal now.
His half-brother, Bullet Train, made the running as expected with Frankel effortlessly tracking him until his jockey, Tom Queally, pressed the button well over a furlong from home.
The race was over in a flash and Frankel shot clear with Excelebration chasing in vain. Dubawi Gold was third and Bullet Train finished fourth.
Next up will be Royal Ascot next month in either the Queen Anne Stakes over a mile or the Prince of Wales’s Stakes over a mile and a quarter.
With nothing left to prove over a mile, will his connections step him up in trip sooner than originally planned?
A delighted Sir Henry Cecil, Frankel’s trainer, 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. He was blowing afterwards.
"He’s done everything right considering he was sidelined.
"He’s in the two races at Royal Ascot and we’ll take it step by step."
The winning jockey said: "It’s a great relief he’s come back. It’s great to be on board.
"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."
Excelebration’s trainer, Aidan O’Brien, said: "Frankel is a great horse, isn’t he?
"It’s great for everyone, but I’m delighted for Henry, for Tom, the Prince and everybody involved with him.
"Marco Botti did a great job with Excelebration last year and we didn’t come here under any illusions.
"He had a nice run at the Curragh last time and we looked forward to coming here.
"A mile has been his trip so far, but I don’t know where we’ll go next."