Frankel Fantastic in JLT Lockinge Victory
by Mary Schweitzer
Date Posted: 5/19/2012 12:50:11 PM
Last Updated: 7/30/2012 1:08:19 PM
Superstar Frankel improved his record to a perfect 10 for 10 with a powerhouse performance in the JLT Lockinge Stakes (Eng-I) (VIDEO) at Newbury Racecourse May 19.
The 4-year-old son of Galileo was making his first start of the season for Sir Henry Cecil and owner Prince Khalid Abdullah. Frankel was last seen last October when he rolled to an easy four-length victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Eng-I) at Ascot.
The connections of the star colt had a bit of a scare earlier this season when he returned from a routine gallop with some swelling in a foreleg. Rumors swirled for several days that Frankel would be retired, but after undergoing several tests it was determined that the injury would not be career-ending. Cecil resumed training the colt with an eye on his return in the Lockinge.
A field of six went to the post in the Lockinge after the defection of Strong Suit due to the firm going. As expected, Frankel was sent off the heavy 2-5 favorite. Second choice in the wagering went to Aidan O’Brien’s Excelebration, who entered the Lockinge off a decisive victory in the Gladness Stakes (Ire-III) April 22.
At the start it was Bullet Train , Frankel’s stablemate and half-brother, that went to the front under Ian Mongan to set the pace. Tom Queally had a relaxed Frankel just behind them in second, as Excelebration and Windsor Palace disputed third.
With two furlongs left to run Queally asked his colt to go and the response was immediate as Frankel cruised past Bullet Train and took the lead. Excelebration attempted to challenge but could never get close, and Frankel drew off through the final furlong to win comfortably by five lengths.
Excelebration was a clear second, with Dubawi Gold another four lengths back in third. Final time for the eight furlongs was 1:38.14 over a course rated as good.
Queally was thrilled with his colt afterwards, telling reporters, “He showed that burst of acceleration and he’s not like anything I’ve sat on. He’s grown up, he’s a thicker set - look at him now he’s the real deal.”
A pleased Henry Cecil said, “I’m delighted for the Prince (Khalid Abdullah) and the staff. It was nice.”
Regarding future plans, Cecil commented, “He’s in the two (Queen Anne Stakes and the Prince of Wales’s Stakes) at Ascot and we’ll take it step by step.”
Frankel was bred in England by his owner, Juddmonte Farm. He is out of the stakes-winning Danehill mare Kind, and is a full brother to 3-year-old stakes winner Noble Mission.
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