Queally loving 'magic moments' aboard Frankel
The incredible Frankel made racing history yesterday by becoming the first horse to win two runnings of Goodwood's Sussex Stakes, and the unbeaten colt was never out of second gear as he cruised home by six lengths at 1/20.
But, in time, this 12th consecutive victory will be viewed as an easy stepping stone to the colt's greatest challenge, the Juddmonte International, at York on August 22, which will mark the first time Frankel has raced beyond a mile. Already, Ladbrokes make him a 1/4 chance.
Yesterday's Qipco-sponsored Sussex wasn't about breaking records, either in terms of time or distance. The colt stopped the clock at 1 minute 37.56 seconds for the mile, 0.56secs slower than Racing Post standard time and his winning distance merely equalled the race's widest margin, set by Krakatao in 1949.
Pacemaker Bullet Train led until Frankel went to the front two furlongs out, but only approaching the furlong-marker was he asked to accelerate seriously, and he quickly widened the gap between himself and the others. Tom Queally was easing the colt down before the line, as he comfortably beat the Eclipse runner-up Farhh.
"Every moment spent on Frankel's back is special," Queally said. "He is amazing and had all the others cooked at halfway. It was a nice prep for his next race. He is a class apart from any other horse around and does it all very easily. 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."
"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."
Henry Cecil, who is still recovering at home following treatment for stomach cancer, has not been at Goodwood this week, but his guiding hand could be seen in the tactics adopted by Queally, who was intent in getting his partner to relax, and while a certain keenness was evident, the colt coped well.
"Physically and mentally, Frankel is a lot more mature," explained Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Khalid Abdulla. "Henry was very firm in his view that he wanted to use this race as a stepping stone for York 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 for him, the Juddmonte and the Champion Stakes (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 the Prix du Moulin (Longchamp, September 16).
Sheikh Mohammed sportingly threw Farhh in against Frankel yesterday, but this admirable campaigner was soundly beaten. Simon Crisford, Godolphin's racing manager, said: "Farhh ran a good race. But the winner was much too good, as we knew before. We didn't have to run the race to find that out."
Frankie Dettori, who rode the runner-up, added: "I told him (Queally) to wait, but he didn't. Awesome, awesome."
Richard Fahey, who trained the third Gabrial, said: "The second would win a Sussex in a normal year. We've no excuses. The winner is a wonderful horse, different gear. Probably the most incredible horse we've ever seen."
Yesterday was an enjoyable day out in the Sussex sunshine for Frankel. York, in three weeks, will be a bigger challenge for this remarkable racehorse. (© Daily Telegraph, London)