Lucky 13: Frankel Rolls in Juddmonte Int'l
The 4-year-old son of Galileo proved that distance was not a problem as he cruised home to win the 10-furlong contest while under just mild urging from jockey Tom Queally. It was the eighth group I victory for Frankel, and the second-largest winning margin of his career.
A field of nine horses went to the post in the International, led by a three-horse entry from Juddmonte and one from trainer Aidan O'Brien. In addition to Frankel, trainer Sir Henry Cecil sent out 2011 International winner Twice Over as well as Bullet Train , Frankel's dependable pacemaker and older half-brother.
O'Brien was represented by Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) and Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup (Eng-I) winner St Nicholas Abbey, in addition to two pacemakers, Robin Hood and Windsor Castle. Others in the field were Godolphin's Farhh, second to Frankel in the QIPCO Sussex Stakes (Eng-I) last time out, French group I winner Planteur, and the hard-knocking Sri Putra, winner of the Sky Bet York Stakes (Eng-II).
At the start Bullet Train shot to the front and was quickly joined by Robin Hood and Windsor Palace. Jockey Eddie Ahern eased Bullet Train just off the O'Brien duo, content to let them zip along on the lead. There was a break of a few lengths back to St Nicholas Abbey and Farhh, with Queally allowing Frankel to relax toward the back of the field.
With three furlongs to go the real running began, as the field fanned out and the front-runners began to fade. St Nicholas Abbey was the first to challenge, charging to the lead while under a drive by Joseph O'Brien. They were soon joined by Frankie Dettori and Farhh and the battle was on.
Queally had Frankel fanned wide and in the clear along the outside rail as they cruised up to join the leaders. In the blink of an eye the race was over, with Frankel showing great acceleration in the final furlong to win quite easily.
Farhh and St Nicholas Abbey fought it out to the wire with the Godolphin runner prevailing by a nose to take second. It was six lengths back to Twice Over in fourth, with Bullet Train just a neck behind him in fifth.
The final time for the just-over 10 furlong contest was 2:06.59 over good to firm going.
Frankel, Cecil, and Queally were given a hero's reception as they returned to the winner's enclosure, with Cecil telling reporters, "It was great wasn't it? It is great for Yorkshire, they are great supporters of racing and they deserved to see him."
Cecil, who is receiving on-going treatment for cancer, was asked how the victory made him feel. "Probably 20 years better," was his response.
Frankel was bred in England and races as a homebred for Juddmonte Farm. He is out of the stakes-winning Danehill mare Kind, who has also produced the stakes winners Bullet Train and Noble Mission.
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