In what has now been confirmed as his final career race, Frankel the Fantastic, faced with his most difficult challenge of his career, proved once again his greatness this afternoon at Ascot.
A poor start, softer conditions than he's ever seen, and a foe, in Cirrus des Aigles, tougher than he's ever faced, mattered little to the great son of Galileo today as he won the Group 1 Quipco Champion Stakes in magnificent style.
Waiting patiently under rider Tom Queally, Frankel was let loose in the final straightaway and quickly rushed past the classic winning Nathaniel, to join the classy gelding Cirrus des Aigles for a thrilling final quarter mile. While the French horse was very much at home on the soft course and 1 1/4 mile trip, and ran an absolutely huge race, he simply had no answer for the power and grace that the racing world has seen time after glorious time from Frankel. As both horses sprinted to the Ascot wire, the outcome was hardly in doubt, with Frankel stretching out under hard urging from his rider to win by two lengths.
For the Juddmonte owned and Sir Henry Cecil trained superstar, it marks a fourteenth consecutive win without a loss since beginning his career in 2010. He will go down in history as a horse the likes of which we seldom have ever had the pleasure of seeing.
I'll let the reader decide his place among the greatest horses of all-time, but I will say thank you, Frankel, it was a pure joy to have seen you run!
Much more to come from Dan Munn, our man at Ascot, coming soon...