Galileo’s superstar son Frankel (3c Galileo-Kind, by Danehill) maintained his unbeaten record when justifying 30/100 favouritism in the G1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.
The G1 2000 Guineas hero, who was home-bred by Prince Khalid Abdulla, scored by only three-quarters of a length after tiring in the final stages, having been sent on before the home turn to catch pacemaker Rerouted. Winning trainer Sir Henry Cecil admitted that he would have chosen different tactics if given the chance again.
“That was a bit nervewracking and it didn’t go to plan. He is growing up but it just went a little bit wrong today,” said Cecil. “He was nice and relaxed in the race and I don’t think he needed the pacemaker. If I was to run that race again in half an hour then it would be very different.
“He looked as if he was going to win a bit more easily and I think that he thought that he had just done enough. He settled really well today – very, very well. When he was in front at the furlong, he thought that he had done enough so he was really idling at the end. That’s a very good thing because it means that we can ride a normal race on him. Last year he ran all the way to the line but today, rather like in Newmarket, he knew he’d won his race very early and done enough.
“He wasn’t at all tired, he just thought that he had done enough. It’s good really because it means that I can settle him in now and I don’t have to make such use of him. He’s changing a lot.
“I never like the three and four-year-olds to come together before Ascot and the race at York, the G1 Juddmonte International, is the Prince’s race. He sponsors it but has never won it before and I know he would love to win it. But we’ll do the best for the horse and advise the Prince and he’ll take the final decision. I think Frankel will stay further although obviously I’m not certain. The horse is a gentleman.”
Winning rider Tom Queally added: “He jumped a little bit slow and he settled much better than he ever has before. As a result, nobody was inclined to follow Michael (Hills on Rerouted) so that put me in a tricky position. I had to make a decision to go one when I did. He was running for a long way and was starting to get a little bit fed up with it in front – he does it so easily.
“He is growing up all of the time. Everybody thinks that he can just jump and run but he is more versatile than people think. We have got options regarding tactics and he is still the one to beat at the moment. He’s getting more professional with every run and he’s starting to know he’s good now.
“He was so good but he’d never had a race in his life before and been given anything to think about. He was the talking horse and many people’s banker this week and he has obliged. I just wanted to do the horse justice.”