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Superstar Frankel Bows Out With Champion Stakes Victory
20/10/12

1 Frankel 2/11 Fav
2 Cirrus Des Aigles 9/2
3 Nathaniel 9/1
6 ran Distances: 1¾l, 2½l, 3½l
TIME 2m 10.22s (slow by 4.62s)

All eyes were on Frankel as he landed the 14th, and last, victory of his unbeaten career taking the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot.

Frankel (T Queally) wins from Cirrus Des Aigles (O Peslier)
© Racehorse Photos

Frankel wins from Cirrus Des Aigles

The Galileo colt, trained by Sir Henry Cecil, won his 9th Group One race with a trademark display of pure brilliance - despite being slowly away from the stalls.

Sent off the 2-11 favourite, Khalid Abdullah's wonder colt took up the running from Cirrus Des Aigles over a furlong out under his ever-present jockey Tom Queally and pulled away from the French raider to win cosily by a length and three-quarters.

Cecil said: "He didn't like the ground much, but he was very relaxed. He's the best I've ever had. He's the best I've ever seen. I'd be surprised if there's ever been any better."

Owner Prince Khalid Abdulla confirmed that Frankel had run his last race after the greatest horse of modern times made it 14 wins from as many starts.

“That is the end of it and he will retire to stud now. Today was important because it was his last race,” said Abdulla. “I knew he was going to win beforehand and I think he would have been further in front of the other horses if it hadn’t been for the ground.”

Frankel
© Racehorse Photos

Frankel
Abdulla’s racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe, added “Frankel is the greatest and he has brought a whole new generation of people and a wider audience to the sport. He’s the ultimate equine athlete. He’s been important because he has brought the sport from the back pages of the papers to the front pages. Hopefully a new generation of interest he has spawned will be a fantastic legacy

“This was a career-defining performance. He was slowly away but the great thing is that he is so relaxed and he got into a rhythm again. He’s unhustled and relaxed and he had a trouble-free run into the straight. I was confident that he’d put the race to bed and that’s what he did.

Queally said: “I’m really proud of Frankel and we have been on an amazing journey. He was slowly away at York and he was a little bit slower today but I have so much belief in the horse and I suppose that we have pushed that to the limit in the past but he is amazing. We lost a length at the start but a length is nothing to him.

“It’s fair to say that he is better on better ground but the 4x4 kicked in and he is everything that you could imagine in a horse. He didn't really enjoy the ground - he didn't bounce of it like he can do - but that shows you what sort of horse we are dealing with. Under the circumstances I would say it’s up there with his best performances.

 

 

Statistics provided by TurfTRax show Frankel’s top speed in the QIPCO Champion Stakes was 37.5mph and the fastest single furlong he ran was from the 3f to 2f marker - he covered that distance in 12 seconds dead.

 

Qipco Champion Stakes
(British Champions Middle Distance) (Group 1)
Going: Soft (Round Course: Soft, Heavy in places)
6 ran

Position
Horse
Trainer
Jockey
Weight
Starting Price
Beaten Distance
1
Frankel
Sir H R A Cecil
T P Queally
9st 3lbs
2 - 11
Winner
2
Cirrus Des Aigles
Mme C Barbe
O Peslier
9st 3lbs
9 - 2
1 3/4 length
3
Nathaniel
J H M Gosden
William Buick
9st 3lbs
9 - 1
2 1/2 lengths
4
Pastorius
M Hofer
L Dettori
8st 12lbs
33 - 1
3 1/2 lengths
5
Master Of Hounds
W J Haggas
R L Moore
9st 3lbs
80 - 1
4 lengths
6
Bullet Train
Sir H R A Cecil
I Mongan
9st 3lbs
100 - 1
2 1/2 lengths
       

 

Cirrus Des Aigles
© Racehorse Photos

Cirrus Des Aigles

NO DISGRACE FOR CIRRUS

After running the great Frankel close, in what has proved to be his final race, the Group One QIPCO Champion Stakes, Cirrus Des Aigles’ trainer, Corine Barande-Barbe, said: “I heard that the British public were worried that we could beat him (Frankel) - I thought maybe that we could win but Frankel is the best. There is no disgrace in being beaten by Frankel.”

Cirrus des Aigles, who won this race last year, will continue his racing career in 2013, with the trainer adding: “He (Cirrus Des Aigles)will decide when we run again - we will continue with our travelling.”

Olivier Peslier, who rode the one-and-three-quarter length second, added:“ He went very well with two furlongs to go I thought we have a chance we have to make him (Frankel) fight. Cirrus Des Aigles fought very well.”

John Gosden, trainer of the third home Nathaniel, reflected: “I am thrilled with the result. I think that is what we all wanted. I love the way Frankel came in but he had to race in the end - in the last half furlong he was having a race. What a great horse.”

On his own charge the trainer said: “Nathaniel has done everything, a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half, fast groundsoft ground. He’s run a great race and has had a great season. He’s just always run great races. He’s a very genuine, proper racehorse. He is now off to stud at Newsells Park.”

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