To stretch out, or not to stretch out--that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles.
Pardon me for butchering the eloquent words of The Bard, but even after another absolutely devastating performance today at Glorious Goodwood, in which Frankel effortlessly cantered away from the very good Farhh in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes, it seems the horse I, and so many others, call the best in the world has arrived at a bit of a crossroads in his racing career. Does this champion need to do more?
A quick scan of Frankel’s past performances illustrate his brilliance … 12 wins in 12 starts, all but one coming with almost unbelievable ease, and the last seven coming in Group 1 races, but it also shows an unwillingness of his connections to run in any race farther than a mile. This fact, and also the way he makes very good horses look simply mediocre; have left racing fans on this side of the Atlantic questioning his greatness. I have seen many comments like the following of late, and I would like the chance to respond.
“Who did he beat?”
Every horse that has dared to enter against him in many of the most important one mile races in England.
If you are bored by seeing a race horse run like no one else can, I feel just a little sorry for you.
“Until he comes to America and beats our horses, we’ll never know how good he is.”
Really? Unfortunately, American turf horses cannot hold a candle to the best of Europe … especially this one.
“Until he runs in races farther than a mile, his career will be incomplete, and he will not go down as one of history’s all-time greats.”
Now this last one is the most interesting and perhaps the most valid. Frankel is so dominate at a mile and he gives every indication that he can go on, that many would say his connections have waited too long in testing Frankel against the best at the extended distance of 1 ¼ miles. Perhaps these are the same people who clamor for Usain Bolt to run in the Marathon, but you know what? I agree.
Frankel is simply too fantastic not to open up new challenges to him and afford him the opportunity to place his name at the top of even greater summits. Not that he isn’t already an all-time great, he unequivocally is, but it is time for him to show the world more. I have no doubt that he is up to the challenge. Bring on the Juddmonte International!