Three possible targets for fabulous Frankel

The world’s greatest racechorse Frankel has three possible targets before he retrires.

The superstar duly won his twelfth race yseterday – and eighth at Group One level – when taking the QIPCO Sussex Stakes for owner Prince Khalid Abdulla, trainer Sir Henry Cecil and jockey Tom Queally.

The 1/20 favourite, won the race for the second year running without breaking sweat, scoring by an eased-down six lengths in 1m 37.56s from Farhh.

Prince Khalid’s racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe said: “Wasn’t that a magnificent performance by the world’s greatest!

“Settling him is going to be important for his future races and to get him into that nice rhythm on a good rein, but well held. Today he has done that and it will have been just what Henry was looking for.

“Henry was very firm in his view that he wanted to use this race as a stepping stone for  the Juddmonte International at York [August 22, for which he is now a 1/4 shot with Ladbrokes] 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 left for him, the Juddmonte and the Champion Stakes [at 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 something like the Prix du Moulin.

“We’ve always said we want to do the right thing for the horse, and we’ve never shied away from a race. We just want to give him the best chance to show himself as the best, and if there’s a race to do that in then we’ll go for it. At the moment Ascot will be his farewell.”
Frankel frightened off all but three rivals yesterday and Grimthorpe was asked if it is possible the horse might retire from racing without ever revealing his true ability.

He said: “We all have a pretty good idea how good he is now – this is not the Pony Club and we’re not trying to jump over every skittle. Who he takes on is something that is out of our hands. I’m biased, but I’ve never seen any horse as good as him.”

Neither Sir Henry nor Prince Khalid were present for Frankel’s superb victory.  Sir Henry is working from home while recovering from cancer treatment, while Prince Khalid has recently undergone back surgery in America.

Asked for his appraisal of the trainer, Grimthorpe said: “He’s the most exceptional trainer and has proved that time and again. His re-emergence is one of the great sporting stories and truly remarkable, and we are very lucky to have Frankel in such good hands.

“The world-class trainers have a feel and knack for a horse, and they know what their horses should be doing – they don’t have to ask the question, ‘should I do this or that?’ because they have a firm idea. That said they can be flexible and will say, ‘let’s give this horse an easy day’ or whatever.

Of Tom Queally, Grimthorpe said: “He’s built a great affinity with the horse and they know each other. Earlier in Frankel’s career he was probably dictating what he wanted to do, but now it’s a very good combination and Tom gets on with him beautifully. It’s marvellous to watch.”

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