Queen Anne Stakes
Date | 19 June 2012
Course | Ascot
Age | 4
Distance | 8f
Going | Good to soft
Place | 1st
Winning margin | 11 lengths
3rd Side Glance
Racing Post analysis:
Drying ground all the time on a hot, sunny day, with times suggesting it was pretty much good.
The rail was out 3yds from the 9f marker to the home bend, increasing distances by 6yds on the Old Mile, 9yds over 1m2f, and 12yds over 1m4f and 2m4f.
They raced centre-field in this opening event and the pace was a level one.
This was the definition of starting the meeting with a bang, the world´s highest-rated racehorse FRANKEL absolutely murdering his rivals, with the 125-rated Excelebration, who has become something of a punching bag for the favourite, a whopping 11 lengths back in second.
Although his price contracted all the way down to 1-10 (one of the shortest-priced runners in the history of the Royal meeting), he produced a performance that surely exceeded expectations, even of those closest to the him, effortlessly tanking to the front before powering clear for what was his most impressive performance to date, in terms of form anyway.
Rated 138 prior to the race and now unbeaten in 11 with seven Group 1-wins to his name, it´s scary that his master trainer feels he´s getting better all the time, and anyone planning on going up against him in the Sussex, a race he won last year, will think again following this.
The tendon injury suffered in April which led to premature speculation that he´d be retired, seems a distance memory now and it looks as though the racing public will finally get a chance to see him over 1m2f in August´s Juddmonte International, with the Champion Stakes presumably the ultimate goal, assuming everything goes to plan.
Excelebration´s only defeats since his debut have come in races contested by Frankel, this being the fourth time he´s finished runner-up to him. A Group 1-winning miler and very high-class in his own right, he can be rated better than the bare result, paying late on for having tried to match the invincible winner, and surely connections won´t be taking him on again. He hasn´t necessarily improved for the switch to Aidan O´Brien this year, but there are suitable opportunities in France for him in the coming months, and hopefully he´ll get some well-deserved glory in Britain later in the campaign, with Frankel exiting the mile scene.
QUOTES: Sir Henry Cecil, trainer of Frankel: "He will definitely get a mile and a quarter. He´s in everything, the Eclipse, the Sussex, the Juddmonte and he´s be entered in the two here at the end of the year [QEII and Champion Stakes]. There is a chance he will take another four races, but we will see."
Selected Media Articles
22 June 2012: Racing Post - Devastating sixth-furlong burst faster than King’s Stand runners
21 June 2012: Frankel: Queen Anne winner is Timeform's highest-rated horse in history on 147
20 June 2012: Racing Post - Incredible! The world's best just got even better
(PDF file, 5.73 MB)
20 June 2012: Thoroughbred Daily News - Eleventh heaven
(PDF file, 1.73 MB)
20 June 2012: Frankel hailed as greatest ever after Royal Ascot Queen Anne Stakes win
18 June 2012: Henry Cecil back in fashion as Frankel takes real flair to Royal Ascot