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Frankel's no soft touch on farewell

ARE they having a laugh? Numerous people feel that Saturday's career-ending appearance by Frankel in the Champion Stakes will be his toughest yet as he faces Nathaniel and last year's winner Cirrus Des Aigles.

THE prospect of soft ground over 1m 2f may be some cause for concern but the opposition certainly isn't.

Looking forward to Champions Day at Ascot in three days' time and the only disappointment is knowing that it will be the last time that Frankel will be gracing our presence on the racecourse.

There should be absolutely no fear of anything ruining the party atmosphere that is sure to develop as despite being very high class in their own right, Nathaniel and Cirrus Des Aigles are simply in another parish when compared to the mighty Frankel.

I suppose question marks start to circle over every good horse and a time comes when people feel they might be vulnerable. The difference here though is that Frankel is not just a good horse, he's one hell of a horse and possibly the all-time best. He really is different.

Take him out and this year's Champion Stakes would be very intriguing, with Nathaniel redirected after missing the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and Cirrus Des Aigles bidding to emulate last year's success, while Aidan O'Brien throws in the unknown quantity, Declaration Of War.

That intriguing battle will have to be for minor honours, though, and the result of that is likely to be an afterthought as we marvel one last time at the majestic Frankel.

His racecourse gallop and all other public pieces of work in recent weeks have been top notch and the horse appears to be in the form of his life.

Five lengths, 11 lengths, six lengths and seven lengths are the winning distances from his four runs this season and when doing that he beat Excelebration when he was rated 126 and 125 and Farhh when he was rated 122 respectively. To put it into context Nathaniel is also 126 and Cirrus Des Aigles is around 130 -- they have a long way to go to match the 140 Frankel ran to in the Juddmonte.

Only on his racecourse debut, when incidentally beating Nathaniel, has Frankel had to get down and battle, but when he did he came out on top.


Even if the same horse or Cirrus Des Aigles bring him into a battle on Saturday, rather than watch him cruise away from the field, the chances are Frankel will prove just too powerful and resilient to say goodbye to his unblemished record.

If ever 1/7 was a good price about a horse, this is probably that one and only time. Let's just hope for the good of racing that there will be no humble pie here next week.