QIPCO Sussex Stakes
Date | 27 Jul 2011
Course | Goodwood
Age | 3yo+
Distance | 8f
Going | Good
Place | 1st
Winning margin | 5 lengths
2nd Canford Cliffs
3rd Rio De La Plata
Racing Post analysis:
This was the smallest Sussex Stakes field since Sallust beat two rivals in 1972, but few Flat races in recent years have been as keenly anticipated as this one with a pair of outstanding milers squaring up. The race did not disappoint, as FRANKEL gave a stunning display.
Dream Ahead in the July Cup and Nathaniel in the King George have beaten the older horses in recent Group 1s, and Frankel is the ninth of his age in the last 13 years to win the Sussex, in which three-year-olds receive an 8lb weight-for-age allowance from their elders. There is no question, though, that he was a deserving winner.
The tactics Tom Queally would use were the subject of much speculation in the build-up, the colt having blasted off ahead in the Guineas then made a mid-race burst to the front in the St James’s Palace Stakes. Apparently the plan here was to settle him in behind if possible, but Queally found he had no option but to make the running. It briefly appeared as if we were in for a falsely run race, but after a furlong or so he let his mount stride on, the colt racing a shade keenly as usual but always comfortably within himself. The pace thereafter was honest and the time was a thoroughly respectable 0.87sec outside the standard. Only shaken up approaching the furlong pole, Frankel quickened immediately, soon leaving Canford Cliffs in his wake, and ran on strongly to the line for a tremendously impressive win. The margin of superiority was perhaps exaggerated as the runner-up drifted left, but that does not hide the fact that this was a brilliant victory.
Frankel had been clinging on at the end at Ascot, looking to most observers to be tiring, although Queally and Sir Henry Cecil were adamant that the colt was merely idling in the closing stages. This time, though, he was not stopping at the line - indeed he took a deal of pulling up - and provided that he can settle properly at the slightly slower gallop he has strong claims of getting further. Future targets are undecided, but he is set to miss the Juddmonte International, run over an extended 1m2f at York, and wait for British Champions day at Ascot in October, when the choice would come down to the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes over a mile, the more likely target, or the Champion Stakes over the longer trip. Longer term he is expected to stay in training at four.
He is surely one of the all-time greats and we should enjoy him while we can.
Selected Media Articles
28 Jul 2011: Racing Post - Frankelstein (PDF file, 4.21 MB)