Frankel ‘fine’ after outstanding show

Tom Queally celebrates his victory on Frankel in the Queen Anne Stakes during day one of the 2012 Royal Ascot
Tom Queally celebrates his victory on Frankel in the Queen Anne Stakes during day one of the 2012 Royal Ascot
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Frankel was reported to be “fine” back at his Warren Place stables despite losing a shoe during his scintillating performance in the Queen Anne Stakes.

Sir Henry Cecil’s superstar colt was extending his unbeaten record to 11 from wins as many starts in the opening race of Royal Ascot 2012, demolishing old rival Excelebration by 11 lengths.

Cecil said: “He lost a front shoe (in the race). I don’t know where it happened but it got loose in the last furlong and came off.

“It’s been poulticed, but he’s fine and lives to fight another day.

“The idea was to go to Goodwood (Sussex Stakes) and York (Juddmonte International), but everything is open and we’ll see.”

Owner Khalid Abdullah’s racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe, told the BBC: “He’s come back well, eaten up and seems very happy. No problems.

“It was a breathtaking performance by any standard. I usually just sit and yell from the stands, but actually I just watched open-mouthed.

“It was such a wonderful job done by Henry and Tom (Queally) and everyone back home at Warren Place has been fantastic.

“He is something else isn’t he?

“People come into racing for these very, very special horses.

“The amount of people that have come up to me since and said their son or daughter wasn’t really keen on racing but they saw Frankel and they’re just absolutely mad for it now.

“It is hugely important for the whole game. It’s fantastic.”

However, Frankel’s effort was not enough to earn the title of best racehorse ever, according to the handicappers at the British Horseracing Authority.

The BHA’s Dominic Gardiner-Hill explained that the proximity of some of the beaten horses holds the form down slightly.

Dancing Brave, like Frankel owned by Khalid Abdullah, was awarded the highest ever official mark of 141 after his victory in the 1986 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

“He he went into the race on 138. I think he’s run to at least that in winning the race,” Gardiner-Hill told BHAXtra.

“If we put him up, he’ll go up a maximum of a couple of pounds to a mark of 140.

“As was highlighted after the Lockinge, in the modern-day era Dancing Brave is the highest-rated horse we’ve had on 141 and at this stage I wouldn’t want to put him up above Dancing Brave on what he achieved (on Tuesday)

“There are doubts. Side Glance went into the race on 113, the German horse (Indomito) on 108, although having reviewed his rating this morning we may have underestimated his last run. And obviously Windsor Palace (fifth) is a 104-106 horse.

“I don’t think it would be right to put Frankel above Dancing Brave, beating those horses, which really are no more than Group Two horses.

“He beat them a long way but when you look at the quality of the Arc that Dancing Brave won back in 1986, which was chock-full of Group One winners, I think it would be wrong at this stage to say that Frankel is a better horse than Dancing Brave, so if he goes up it will be a maximum of a couple of pounds to 140.”

The Queen Anne performance was the biggest distance by which Frankel has beaten Excelebration, who was five lengths in arrears at Newbury in the Lockinge Stakes last month.

But Gardiner-Hill said: “I think that (Excelebration ran below his best) is an incontrovertible fact, there’s no way that he could have run same the race as he did at Newbury or in the QEII here last year.

“The highest I can get Excelebration at the moment on (Tuesday’s) performance is 115, which would mean he is about 10lb off the performance at Newbury and in the QEII.”

Timeform, on the other hand, take a different view and have Frankel at a new provisional high of 147, taking him 2lb higher than their previous best, Sea Bird II.