The dust has settled on the “duel on the downs” but the memory still lingers. 3 furlongs out in the Qipco Sussex Stakes and both Frankel and Canford Cliffs have yet to play their cards. Then it happened.
Tom Queally let out an inch of reign on Frankel and he was gone. His muscles tightened and his stride began to lengthen. All that raw power and speed that we saw to such devastating effect in the 2000 Guineas earlier in the season was unleashed and try as they may Richard Hughes and Canford Cliffs couldn’t live with Frankel.
It was the result that most people in racing had wished for. Frankel remained unbeaten and the aura and mystic around him grew. Make no mistake. This is a once in a generation horse. His owner Prince Khalid Abdulla rates him higher that his 1986 Guineas and Arc winner Dancing Brave. That is high praise indeed.
The beauty of Frankel is that we still haven’t seen the best of him. His Guineas performance was a once off. Yet I would wager that he could produce an even more visually impressive display further down the line in his career.
His performance in the Sussex Stakes not only confirmed Frankel as the supreme miler in the world but it also opened our collective eyes to the future. With connections confirming that the Galileo colt will remain in training there is every chance that we could see him take apart more high class horses like Canford Cliffs and that’s what he did in the Sussex Stakes. He broke Canford Cliffs.
Yes there have been excuses made for Canford Cliffs but I would have any money on that the next time the two horses met Frankel would win even further. The mark of a truly great horse is that they can make other top drawer horses look like selling platers. Frankel has the ability to do that.
When you look at Frankel he takes your breath away. One moment he is with the rest of the pack the next moment he has quickened and gone. He makes the heart skip a beat. Have a look back at the 2000 Guineas and you will see flat racing at its purist. Frankel that day was racing only against the wind.
Never before has a classic winner been applauded fully 2 furlongs from the finish. Except in Frankel’s 2000 Guineas. The Newmarket crowd knew they were witnessing something very special. That day Frankel inked himself into turf history with that performance.
In my personal racing pantheon there are two horses, George Washington and Sea The Stars, that have my heart. I can now add Frankel to that list. He is one of the very best that there has ever been seen on a racecourse. Enjoy him while you can. Horses like Frankel come along very often. Cherish him for what he is. Frankel the freak.