Race fans hail breathtaking Frankel and trainer Henry Cecil
Colt cements his reputation with win number 13 at York, but when and how will he bow out?
THE racing world has been showering plaudits on Frankel and his veteran trainer Henry Cecil after the four-year-old colt's 13th straight win yesterday.
Frankel cemented his place in the record books and the affections of race fans as he destroyed a high-class field in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York to become the first horse in history to win eight consecutive Group One races.
It was the first time Frankel had raced over a distance of more than a mile, but any doubts about his ability to last the pace were dismissed as he surged clear of his rivals with two furlongs to go and romped home to win by an impressive seven lengths.
A crowd of 30,000 had travelled to York to watch the colt and they were not disappointed. He put in "a finish of such breathtaking speed that it took jockey Tom Queally another half-a-mile to pull him up," marvelled The Daily Telegraph.
"We have seen nothing like this. Frankel is a horse of such stratospheric distinction that he is winning Flat races by National Hunt margins. Here he relegated even St Nicholas Abbey, a two-time winner of the Coronation Cup at Epsom, to a distant also-ran."
The result confirmed him as the "world's greatest racehorse" said The Guardian, but Telegraph tipster Hotspur went even further. "This seven-length annihilation of another top-class field was conclusive proof that Frankel is the best to have raced in Europe, ever."
The crowd also hailed Cecil, who has been fighting cancer. The Times reported that the 69-year-old trainer "bore the ravages of his cancer treatment with poignant dignity and drew tumultuous applause simply for being present".
The paper added: "We may never know quite what a tonic and inspiration Frankel has been to Cecil but it is safe to say an already colourful life has been immeasurably enhanced. Safe, too, to conclude that Frankel is the Flat horse of all our lifetimes."
However, it seems Frankel will race only once more before retiring. The Champion Stakes at Ascot is expected to be his last race, though according to the Guardian he could now chase the "impossible dream" and try to win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in early October.
"The Champion Stakes may be the pragmatic target for Frankel, now that he has proved his ability at an extended ten furlongs, but the Arc would be the one for a racing romantic," the paper noted. ·