Great Britain was once again treated to a phenomenal display of equine perfection as normal service was once again resumed as Frankel produced a scintillating burst of speed to leave his rivals in his wake in a six-length dominating defence of the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on Wednesday.
Photo: Emma-Louise Kerwin - Goodtosoft.co.uk
Perfectly complimented by the glorious backdrop of the Sussex downs, Frankel was applauded in every corner of the Goodwood track from the parade ring right back to the guard of honour towards the winners enclosure after completing his twelfth successive victory and - in doing so - remaining undefeated. Completing the race untouched with the whip and under a hands and heels ride, Frankel pulled to the outside of his 'co-worker' Bullet Train as the field of four angled into the Sussex straight with two furlongs to go and kicked on in similar fashion to the effort which saw him victorious twelve months ago. Tracked all the way by Frankie Dettori on Farhh, Frankel and Tom Queally oozed confidence as they drew further and further clear in a matter of strides to confirm, yet again, the superiority Frankel harbours over his rivals at this distance and wave goodbye to the distance in his native homeland. "Henry was very firm in his view that he wanted to use this race as a stepping stone for the Juddmonte International at York and everything fell into place nicely. He's getting to be the finished article" said Lord Grimthorpe. "We've always said we want to do the right thing for the horse, and we've never shied away from a race. We just want to give him the best chance to show himself as the best, and if there's a race to do that in then we'll go for it. At the moment Ascot [British Champions Day on October 20th] will be his farewell". For Queally a dream is being realised. As an up and coming jockey many will dream of riding a horse that captures the imagination and unites the racing family but very few will achieve that dream. "Every moment spent on Franke'ls back is a special moment and today was no different. he is amazing and had all the other horses cooked at a little after halfway - it was a nice prep for his next race" stated Queally in the winners enclosure after the easy victory. "These are magic moment and it's great to be a part of it. Turning into the straight I slipped him an inch of rein. You don't have to do much on him - he's so competitive and he has a will to win like no other horse I've ever ridden".
With York and Ascot both already announced as Frankel's likely targets as he steps up to the distance of ten furlongs, Grimthorpe also had some interesting news with regards to a possible third target in between these races. "There are two obvious races left for him, the Juddmonte and the Champion Sttakes, but there is a gap of nearly two month between them and Henry may decide to give him a race in between, possibly something like the Prix du Moulin". The Prix du Moulin would see Frankel vacate England for the first time and compete in France as part of Longchamp's Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe trials day, an event Horse Racing Nation will be covering live from Longchamp for the very first time.
Lord Grimthorpe also had news on Noble Mission - winner of the Gordon Stakes on Tuesday - who will now also head to York on 22nd August for a final prep race in the Great Voltigeur Stakes (1m4f) at a racecourse Grimthorpe labels as the world's premier racecourse.
Frankel has brough British racing together. From all corners of the country, racing fans new and old continue to flock to the track to catch a glimpse of Frankel in the flesh, but whilst the British racing fans are a familar voice in their admiration for Frankel, one American voice from the parade ring who had travelled from California just to see Frankel put it perfectly. "We want to see Frankel at the Breeders Cup but as we can't have that I had to come here" bellowed the man towards the press in the winners enclosure. "Frankel's carrying on Bobby Frankel's dream".
Indeed he is. What a perfect tribute.
Photos Courtesy of Emma-Louise Kerwin (Goodtosoft.co.uk)