After his breathtaking 11-length G1 Queen Anne Stakes victory at Royal Ascot on Tuesday, Timeform rated the brilliant Frankel (4c Galileo-Kind, by Danehill) on a mark of 147, making him the best horse in the organisation’s 64-year history.
David Johnson, Timeform’s Flat Editor, commented “The facts are that Frankel’s performance is likely to surpass anything witnessed in Timeform’s 64-year history. A point worth emphasising is the consistency with which Frankel has produced such performances. This is the fifth time that he has produced a 140+ rating.”
Trainer Sir Henry Cecil admitted the Galileo colt was still improving but felt that those watching – rather than himself – should assess the breathtaking performance.
“It’s a relief. Things have got to go right and no horse is a certainty. He is a great, great horse and you needn’t ask me about him – you have seen him for yourselves so everyone can form their own opinions. I prepared him as well as I could and he couldn’t have done any more so you be the judges,” said Cecil.
“I don’t understand the comparisons between different countries, generations and distances and how people say one horse is 1lb better than another. It’s double dutch to me. People have seen him and can judge for themselves.
“You have to unleash Frankel in good time and then gallop the others into the ground. He’s got that long stride and I wanted him produced between two and two and a half furlongs because he takes some catching. He keeps going when other horses don’t.
“He did exactly what I thought he would but he is still improving and Tom (Queally) said he is getting better. He looks as though he is going to stay a mile and a quarter and we will leave our options open. He is in the Eclipse, the Sussex, the Juddmonte – which is important – and he will be in the two races here at the end of the year. He could have three more race or he could have four.
“I would think he will go stud at the end of this year and it would be entirely up to the Prince (Khalid Abdulla) if he wanted to keep him in training at five but I think it’s unlikely.
“If the horse wants to go to Sandown (for the Eclipse) I’ll go and if he doesn’t I won’t. He’s telling me he’s getting better, it’s just a case of how he takes the race. We will feel our way and he will tell me what to do – I don’t tell him, he will tell me what to do next. I will discuss it with Teddy Grimthorpe but the ultimate decision will be the Prince’s.
“He’s getting stronger and learning to race properly and he’ll definitely get a mile and a quarter, it’s just a matter of when we go – whether it’s in the Juddmonte or earlier.
“This is very good for everybody and the horse has been a great help to me. He has a lot of followers and it would have been sad if he’d got beaten. People from outside racing have latched on to him. My staff have also been marvellous and this is a team effort, I just steer the ship and sail the boat.
“I think the horse enjoyed himself this afternoon and he will have said to himself that this has been a good day.”
Jockey Tom Queally admitted to being a man of few words, but after another superb performance by unbeaten Frankel, he was left groping for superlatives.
“He certainly looks a great horse – he settled, he travelled and when he had every other horse off the bridle I was still sitting there until away he went. Amazing,” said Queally.
“He ticked all the boxes today. From my point of view he’s been flawless in the past, but I couldn’t ask for any more today. He had a perfect prep for it, Sir Henry was able to do everything he wanted and it all went nicely in the race. It’s just a demolition again – he was awesome. This year everyone has latched onto and grasped what it’s all about.
“He was very, very good – we had a plan to go on when we did and it worked perfectly. It didn’t surprise me that he won so far because he felt so good. If he was to improve any more he’d be in Legoland! I pinch myself every morning having a horse like this to ride, so of course I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead. Ten furlongs should be no problem.”
Frankel’s owner/breeder Prince Khalid Abdulla was absent, attending a funeral in Saudi Arabia, but his racing manager Lord Grimthorpe said: “The Prince is so sad not to be here, but he will be unbelievably proud. We’ll have to see how the horse emerges from this run, but for now everything is on track for the rest of the season [and will include a bid to win the Juddmonte International at York, a race sponsored by his owner].
“It’s possible he’s found extra gears because he missed a bit of work before Newbury [where he won the Group One Lockinge Stakes] and we were anxious following that hold up, but he’s shown today he’s unbelievable.”
Timeform’s All-Time Highest-Rated Horses:
147 Frankel (Provisional)
145 Sea Bird II
144 Brigadier Gerard, Tudor Minstrel
142 Abernant, Ribot, Windy City
141 Mill Reef
140 Dancing Brave, Dubai Millennium, Sea The Stars, Shergar, Vaguely Noble