FRANKEL’S JOCKEY Tom Queally will be under immense pressure when he rides the unbeaten superstar in what is likely his final race, The Champion Stakes at Ascot, tomorrow according to riding legend Frankie Dettori.
Queally, who has ridden the Henry Cecil-trained colt in all his 13 victories to date, will go to post in his 11th Group One race against five rivals, though one of them is his older brother and pacemaker Bullet Train.
Dettori, who in 1996 became the first jockey in 300 years to ride all seven winners on the card at the same race meeting where Frankel makes his final bow, said that Queally would have to keep a cool head with all the attention. Even more so as the one poor ride the 28-year-old Irishman has given Frankel came last year at Ascot.
But Dettori said the understanding between rider and horse would have grown a lot since then.
“His heart will be in his mouth,” the 41-year-old Italian told the BBC. “The pressure will be on Tom with the eyes of the whole world on him. There will be a lot of nervous excitement, but you are dealing with an animal here and it is all about the rapport you have built up with the horse.
“They are very sensitive but over time you get a feel for the horse. You form an attachment. The nerves he (Queally) will be feeling will be positive not fear.”
Dettori, who will ride German Derby winner Pastorius in the race, said that debate about whether Frankel was the greatest ever racehorse would rage on even after the race, win or lose.
Timeform, racing’s reference formguide bible, rates Frankel the best in history, displacing French star Sea Bird after 47 years at the top, but because there were no composite ratings with American racing until relatively recently some of their greats haven’t earned a listing.
“The greatest ever? That is always a matter of opinion,” said Dettori. ”However, in my career I have never seen a horse destroy his opposition as he does (he has won all but three of his races by four lengths or more). He has a great physique and a great will to win.
“His rivals have been no slouches but he has just destroyed them.”