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Published 01 August 2012

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Frankel Reigns Supreme


Super racehorse Frankel duly won his twelfth race today - and eighth at Group One level - when taking the QIPCO Sussex Stakes for owner Prince Khalid Abdulla, trainer Sir Henry Cecil and jockey Tom Queally.

Prince Khalid's racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe said: "Wasn't that a magnificent performance by the world's greatest!

"Settling him is going to be important for his future races and to get him into that nice rhythm on a good rein, but well held. Today he has done that and it will have been just what Henry was looking for.

"Henry was very firm in his view that he wanted to use this race as a stepping stone for  the Juddmonte International at York [August 22, for which he is now a 1/4 shot with Ladbrokes] and everything fell into place nicely. He's getting to be the finished article. I've often said you cannot come for races like this half prepared or you could end up looking stupid, so he came here pretty much on top of his game.

"There are two obvious races left for him, the Juddmonte and the Champion Stakes [at Ascot, October 20], but there is a gap of nearly two months between them and Henry may decide to give him a race in between, possibly something like the Prix du Moulin.

"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 will be his farewell."

Frankel frightened off all but three rivals today (one was his pacemaker) and Grimthorpe was asked if it is possible the horse might retire from racing without ever revealing his true ability. He said: "We all have a pretty good idea how good he is now - this is not the Pony Club and we're not trying to jump over every skittle. Who he takes on is something that is out of our hands. I'm biased, but I've never seen any horse as good as him."

Neither Sir Henry nor Prince Khalid were present today - Sir Henry is working from home while recovering from cancer treatment, while Prince Khalid has recently undergone back surgery in America.

Asked for his appraisal of the trainer, Grimthorpe said: "He's the most exceptional trainer and has proved that time and again. His re-emergence is one of the great sporting stories and truly remarkable, and we are very lucky to have Frankel in such good hands.

"The world-class trainers have a feel and knack for a horse, and they know what their horses should be doing - they don't have to ask the question, 'should I do this or that?' because they have a firm idea. That said they can be flexible and will say, 'let's give this horse an easy day' or whatever.

Of Tom Queally, Grimthorpe said: "He's built a great affinity with the horse and they know each other. Earlier in Frankel's career he was probably dictating what he wanted to do, but now it's a very good combination and Tom gets on with him beautifully. It's marvellous to watch."


Tom Queally has enjoyed the unique privilege of riding Frankel to victory in every one of his 12 starts and, not surprisingly, he is full of awe for the world's best racehorse.

Speaking directly after his history-making second win in the QIPCO Sussex Stakes, the jockey said: "Every moment spent on Frankel's 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.

"He is a class apart from any other horse around at the moment and does it all very easily so therefore I have a very easy job. All I need to do is steer him.

"These are magic moments and it's great to be a part of it."

Queally continued: "I came into the race thinking that there wasn't anything that could beat him but you have to treat every race with a great deal of respect. In a Group One race you have to treat every horse with respect and Bullet Train included is a good horse. I was keeping an eye on all eventualities.

"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."

Prince Khalid Abdulla's racing manager Lord Grimthorpe, who was at Goodwood with the Juddmonte supremo's son Prince Ahmed, said: "Bullet Train went a nice pace and Tom (Queally) let Frankel roll down the hill before letting out a few inches of rein and then he just quickened as he does which is so fantastic.

"It's so pleasurable to watch him in action and he is an unbelievable horse.

"He is much more mature mentally and physically. Henry (Cecil) and everyone has done such a fantastic job at Warren Place, including Shane (Fetherstonhaugh), who rides him regularly, and it has been a great team effort to get him absolutely spot on.

"I think it's hugely exciting that he is stepping up in trip at York (for the Juddmonte International). It is a new challenge for Frankel and I think it's what everyone wants to see him do and I think he is ready to do it.

"Frankel is something else and we are so lucky to have him - we are tremendously fortunate - and he is a wonderful equine."


Godolphin's racing manager Simon Crisford was far from surprised that Farhh had to settle for second best when six lengths behind the brilliant QIPCO Sussex Stakes winner Frankel.

"We expected to finish second and that's what he did," said Crisford. "Farhh has run a good race but the winner was much too good for him. That wasn't a surprise, we didn't have to wait for today's race to find it out. I don't know where we will go now with him."

Farhh's rider Frankie Dettori joked: "I told him to wait on Frankel but he didn't! The winner was just awesome."

Richard Fahey, trainer of third-placed Gabrial, commented: "The winner was incredible and it's a good thing I won't be taking him on again. That's probably as good as mine is. The second was rated 122 and in an ordinary year that would be good enough to win a Sussex Stakes.

"I've no plans for mine at the moment. We'll look for a Listed or a Group Three but I don't know where we'll go."

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