The brilliant Frankel (3c Galileo-Kind, by Danehill), already hailed by many as the best horse of modern times, strolled to a fifth G1 success when seeing off a stellar field to win the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.
Frankel, who earn a great reception from his massed ranks of fans, is now unbeaten in nine career starts after easily closing down his pacemaking stablemate and three-parts brother Bullet Train (4c Sadler’s Wells-Kind, by Danehill) with over a quarter of a mile remaining, and then powering to an imperious four-length victory.
Recognising that Frankel is most certainly the horse of a generation, the packed stands began applauding the Galileo three-year-old with fully half a furlong still to race as he swept aside G1 winner Excelebration, with a further three and a half lengths back to another multiple top-flight scorer, Immortal Verse.
Cecil was winning the race for the second time, Kris having scored in 1979 for the Warren Place handler, while owner/breeder Khalid Abdulla was enjoying a fourth triumph after Known Fact (1980), Warning (1988) and Observatory (2000).
Frankel, who was crowned joint champion juvenile in 2010, will be kept in training next year, with connections looking forward to a step up to 10 furlongs.
Cecil, speaking against a cacophony of cheers, said: “I’m very, very happy. He is a very good horse and he was very relaxed today. I’m really looking forward to having a winter over him next year. I think he will get a mile and a quarter very easily.
“He did everything we asked of him and was just doing enough today, we weren’t trying to catch pigeons, we were just trying to win the race nicely. I was worried about the long year but everything went right. He is very relaxed and he has done everything I have asked and I am looking forward to training him next year, God willing.”
Prince Khalid Abdulla commented: “Many people tell me that Frankel is the best horse that they have seen and I am glad to have such a horse. I was expecting that today but he is always like it. I am just hoping that he will do the same again next year. Henry is the best trainer – a very good trainer – and, when he says something, I believe him.”
Tom Queally, the most-envied jockey in world racing, handled the pressure and rode a cool race
He added: “He felt as good as ever and is getting more professional with each run. Ian [Mongan on Frankel’s three-parts brother and pacemaker Bullet Train] did a good job and there was an even tempo to the race and that was important, and while I lost my bit of cover earlier than I would have liked he was grown up enough to know that he didn’t have to tear off like mad.
“He knows to go when Tom says ‘go’ and when I did that he was electric. You couldn’t fault him at all. He’s a horse in a lifetime for the public, and for the jockey that’s lucky enough to be on him it’s a privilege and honour. I could stand here for hours saying what he means to me.
“I always enjoy winners, but winners like this are special. He’s a credit to QIPCO and to everyone who has been involved in today. There’s a lot to look forward to, but who knows what will happen next year. We have to get through the winter first, but if anyone can have him right in the spring it is Sir Henry.”