FRANKEL OPENED PROCEEDINGS at Royal Ascot on Tuesday with a show of sublime brilliance in the Queen Anne Stakes to stretch his unbeaten streak to 11 races.
The colt’s majestic triumph, by 11 lengths from old foe Excelebration, came half an hour after the Queen’s carriage led the royal procession down the straight mile at Ascot.
It was a performance fit for a queen from a thoroughbred king with official endorsement as the world’s best racehorse.
The four-year-old colt got Britain’s premier horse racing fixture off to an explosive start by outclassing his 10 opponents.
It was the fifth time in as many racecourse encounters that Excelebration, who resisted Side Glance for the runner-up berth, has vainly chased Frankel’s tail.
After his triumph Frankel was walked along the length of Ascot’s giant grandstand for the benefit of appreciative fans.
Many waved Union Flags as Tom Queally, who rode the horse with confidence, steered the colt into the winner’s enclosure.
There was barely any sweat on a horse which posted a time within one second of the track record on ground saturated by heavy rain on Saturday.
“He is a great, great horse,” said his trainer, Sir Henry Cecil.
You all saw him for yourself; it is up to you to form your own opinion (of his true worth). What I would say is that he is still improving.”
In the one-mile race Frankel was always well placed behind an even gallop dictated by his pacemaker, Bullet Train.
He moved through to lead approaching the three-furlong marker, with Excelebration in his slipstream, but one look at a motionless Queally underlined that Frankel had plenty more to offer.
When given his head, the bay son of multiple champion sire Galileo accelerated away from his pursuers with rare gusto.
“He has been flawless in the past but I couldn’t have asked for anything more from him today,” Queally said.
“He is amazing.”
Usually undemonstrative in the saddle, Queally permitted himself a quiet celebration at a venue where his tactics almost brought about defeat for Frankel 12 months ago.
There was no such danger this time. Frankel, once headstrong by nature, has become much more relaxed.
Having outclassed all opposition, Frankel now strives to climb the rungs of the ladder of equine greatness.
This was his most extravagant winning margin to date ahead of his anticipated step up in distance to one and a quarter miles, probably at York in August.
He’s in the Sussex Stakes (over a mile), the Eclipse and Juddmonte (both over a mile and a quarter), but I don’t tell him what to do, he’ll tell me,” said Cecil, winning his 74th race at Royal Ascot.
Queally rated the win Frankel’s best ever.
“It looks like he’s getting better, he settled and travelled and did everything off the bridle,” said the quietly-spoken Irishman.
“It was his best performance so far, he ticked all the boxes, did everything right.”
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