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Saratoga and Del Mar 2017

Frankel to Face Stiff Challenge in Champion

10 September 25: Frankel (no. 2), ridden by Tom Queally and trained by H. R. A. Cecil, wins the Royal Lodge Stakes for two year olds at Ascot Racecourse in Ascot, England. (Bob Mayberger/Eclipse Sportswire)
FRANKEL'S last test will be his toughest according to Teddy Grimthorpe as the world's best horse prepares to take to the racecourse for the final time in the Qipco Champion Stakes on Saturday.

Unbeaten in 13 starts, over distances ranging from 7f to 1m2½f, on good, soft and good to firm going, Frankel is nevertheless expected to be challenged like never before at Ascot with last year's winner Cirrus Des Aigles leading the opposition.

With Nathaniel, Declaration Of War, Ridasiyna, Master Of Hounds and Pastorius likely to form the rest of the rivals - with Bullet Train thrown in as an ally to his little brother - Frankel is unlikely to be given an easy run to go out on.

Asked if the Champion Stakes was the biggest test Frankel would have faced, Grimthorpe, racing manager to the four-year-old's owner and breeder Khalid Abdullah, said: "Certainly is. It's building up to be a really true test for him. I think it's exciting. I've always come into this with the attitude that we have to enjoy him. The horse has done everything that we could possibly have dreamt about and I hope he'll run a huge race on Saturday."
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Older Comments about Frankel to Face Stiff Challenge in Champion...

Margin of victory is NOT the strict evaluation status of a win as MANY horses, once their rider knows they are home free, GEAR DOWN. The internal fractions of contests is where most of it happens.
IF .. a big IF Frankel loses would they reconsider retirement to track down whoever beats him to avenge the loss?
Frankel's official margin of victory over Farhh and St Nicholas Abbey in the Juddmonte International was 7 lengths. Cirrus Des Aigles and Nathaniel might fare a little better than that, but I honestly don't think it will be that much better. They may shorten that 7 length gap down to something like 4 or 5 lengths, but I don't see it being any closer than that. The bottom line is that there just isn't another horse ANYWHERE in the world that can counter that first big initial explosion of speed that Frankel has when Queally shakes him up for run. He goes from being just off of the pace to 7 or 8 full lengths clear of the entire field in a blink. How in the hell do you counter that? I don't see the Champion Stakes being one iota different. Queally knows it's Frankel's last race, his swan song if you will. He'll be really focused as to not let anything go wrong that would steal Frankel's thunder in his final race, IMO.
By the way, if you thought the Rachel Alexandra vs. Zenyatta arguments here in America were intense, you should head over to Racing Post and some of the European racing websites; after reading the comments page on a RP article, it's clear that jingoism isn't limited to the New World. French and Scandinavian posters saying that Cirrus Des Aigles will hand the over-rated Brit horse his fanny on the soft ground that CDA loves, and English racing fans saying that the French horse will surrender in the stretch as fast as they (the French) did in 1939. If the wait ended up being much longer we might have an international incident on our hands...
  • timgsmith10 · Awesome!! Im Canadian but British roots... So Ill back Frankel and I am really not worried about a war with France ,There record speaks for itself... bahaha · 1771 days ago
What time (eastern) is the race? Anyone know?
Performances are there for all to see. Fairly impressive to this punter, and I don't impress easily when it comes to equine performance.
MikeRullo, I'm sure you know about Frankel's career thus far; if you've watched his races and think he's over-rated, there's nothing I could say at this point that would change your mind. However, if he wins this weekend, how could you not be convinced? Most on this and other horse racing sites have been saying for months that if there's a horse in the world who has a chance of beating Frankel in this race, it's Cirrus des Aigles. He's the second-highest-ranked horse in the world (behind Frankel), and won this same race last year with authority. There are other factors too that make this Frankel's most challenging race, like the presence of Cirrus des Aigles, Nathaniel, and Master of Hounds who have running styles similar to his own. You see, if there's one complaint I've heard against Frankel that I think is legit, it's the opinion of some that, so far at 10 furlongs, he's ran against St. Nicholas Abbey and other 12-furlong refugees who simply don't have the same turn of foot at 10 furlongs (we all know the sterotypical running style of Europe's mile-and-a-halfers: crawl for the first mile or so and then come flying in the final furong with a last-minute rush. Well and good, I reckon, but by the time those horses get geared up, Frankel is already long gone.) Nathaniel is also a very good horse, and now minus So You Think and Snow Fairy perhaps the best 10-furlong horse in England. If Frankel wins this race with authority, how could I not believe that he's the greatest horse to come out of Europe in our time?
most overrated horse, He has been protected

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