It wasn’t quite as easy as his classic victory, but Frankel was able to maintain his unbeaten record with a three-quarter-length win in the $406,928 St. James’s Palace Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot June 14.
After a dominating six-length victory in the QIPCO Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) at Newmarket in April, different tactics were implemented for the powerful son of Galileo, as Sir Henry Cecil wanted to get his star pupil to learn to relax.
Ridden conservatively by Tom Queally, Frankel settled into fourth as stablemate Rerouted shot to the front to set the pace. Rerouted opened up several lengths on the field while setting swift fractions on the front end.
The complexion of the race changed dramatically before the horses even passed the half-mile marker, as Frankel glided easily into second, still a few lengths behind Rerouted. As the field entered the final bend into the home straight, Frankel cruised past his stablemate and took command of the race, opening up a three-length lead on the field.
Once he got to the front, however, Frankel began to idle, as the closers began to cut into his lead. Zoffany loomed boldly from the back of the pack, charging between horses under Ryan Moore to make a run at the leader. At the wire Zoffany came up less than a length short, as Frankel was able to hold on for the victory.
Excelebration held on for third, another 1 1/2 lengths back. Final time for the eight furlongs was 1:39.24 on the good-to-soft going.
Cecil, who received a knighthood from the Queen the week of June 5, told reporters after the race: “He settled really well--very well. Obviously the pacemaker went off very fast and he had to ask him to take it up. Tom (Queally) said when he was in front a furlong out he thought he’d done enough. He said he was getting really idle, which is good in a way as it means we can ride a normal race on him.
“He wasn’t at all tired, he just thought he’d done enough. That’s good really, it means we can settle him in behind now.”
As to future plans for the Juddmonte Farms colorbearer, Cecil said: “It’ll be the Juddmonte International (Eng-I, 10 furlongs) or the Sussex Stakes (Eng-I, one mile), but it’s too early to say.”
Bred in England by his owner, Frankel is out of the stakes-winning Danehill mare, Kind, who is a half-sister to champion Powerscourt.