Frankel blows away workmates
Sir Henry Cecil made a rare racecourse appearance to witness Frankel, the world's highest-rated racehorse, work over nine furlongs on the Rowley Mile ahead of his next, and most likely final, start in the Group 1 Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 20.
Cecil, who is currently battling ill health, has employed similar tactics ahead of some of Frankel's previous 13 outings. An appreciative crowd gathered around the parade ring to see the Galileo colt stretch his legs before Tom Queally got on board.
Frankel headed down to the starting point of the gallop and, as the action got underway, his stablemates Bullet Train and Specific Gravity led him at a decent pace. Specific Gravity dropped away three furlongs out and Frankel took over from his usual lead horse Bullet Train over two furlongs from home before extending away to cross the line some 12 lengths to the good.
"That is the first time I have sat on him since winning at York, and he seems as good as ever," Queally said, alluding to his conquest of the Group 1 Juddmonte International on August 22.
"He felt fine and that is exactly what you would be looking for.
"He has had a blow afterwards, which is what you would want, and he is 100 percent on target for Ascot."
Cecil was happy with his decision to go for a racecourse gallop rather than the Group 1 Prix du Moulin at Longchamp
"Frankel has had a nice blow and he would have wanted to do as it's not D-Day yet," Cecil said. "It was nice to come here as I don't think going to the Prix du Moulin would have achieved anything."
Frankel was carrying his owner Khalid Abdulla's colors, and Racing Manager Teddy Grimthorpe was likewise pleased with the hit-out.
"Frankel has done everything we hoped he would do in the gallop," Grimthorpe said. "Tom (Queally) was pleased because once he sorted himself out, he really stretched and he has had a little blow.
"The whole idea of this was to give him something a little bit extra, so the gallop has achieved that, and it's amazing to see all the people who have come to see him.
"It was very kind of Newmarket to allow us to come and he has enjoyed himself. They were race-like conditions and it was a bit more than a usual workout as we wanted to press him a bit more and use more energy and strength.
"It will also help his mental state and keep him a lean, mean, killing machine.
"I think the gallop today will keep him up to speed, which is the most important thing, and he has done it with the minimum of fuss, which is the most important thing. He has traveled like he normally does and he has just been his normal self.
"It was a good solid pace from the word go and Danny (Dunnachie) rides Bullet Train regularly, so he knows the sort of pace he needs to go.
"Frankel never disappoints and he comes out like that every day of the week.
"He is no pussy cat and he does like to be the boss. He is a big, robust and domineering horse but mentally he is much more the finished article.
"The Champion Stakes is likely to be Frankel's last race," Grimthorpe added. "I would never say never but it's Prince Khalid's call and it will be his decision. Neither me or Sir Henry are going to suddenly come and say he is going for this, that and the other.
"Everyone has enjoyed Frankel and he has been truly wonderful for Prince Khalid. Retirement will be entirely his decision as he bred and has owned him and has made all the right calls, so it is up to him as to when the curtain comes down.
"We have had three fantastic years with Frankel and if people haven't made up their minds about him then they haven't been watching the same races I have."
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