Frankel different class in Sussex Stakes romp
Report: Glorious Goodwood, Wednesday
Qipco Sussex Stakes (Group 1 ) 1m, 3yo+
FRANKEL was hailed as one of the all-time greats by his legendary trainer Sir Henry Cecil after he stretched his unbeaten record to eight when he dismissed Canford Cliffs in devastating fashion in Goodwood's much-vaunted Duel on the Downs.
Last year's Sussex winner Canford Cliffs had been expected to prove the biggest challenger to Frankel so far, but he was no match for the three-year-old who came home five lengths clear.
Frankel was sent off 8-13 for the race and his backers never had a moment's worry as he made virtually all the running under Tom Queally to win as he liked.
This was a record sixth win in the race for Cecil, who last won it with Ali-Royal in 1997, and afterwards the trainer described his colt as one of the best ever.
Cecil, whose winners of this included Wollow who he had previously said was the best horse he had trained, was not surprised by the manner of the victory. "I did actually think he could win very easily," he said. "It's been a marvellous day, he's a very, very good horse, probably the best I've ever seen.
"Having discussed it with the Prince [Khalid Abdullah] we've decided to give him a little rest and then just one more run this year, most probably in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. There is then a possibility he will stay in training next year, when there's a very good chance he'll get a mile and a quarter."
There had been much speculation about how the race would pan out and with Queally and Richard Hughes keeping a close eye on each other as the gates opened it looked momentarily like the race could disappoint and turn into an elongated game of cat and mouse.
Queally however decided to take the initiative and having wound it up steadily through the last six furlongs of the race he burnt off his three rivals one by one with Canford Cliffs proving to be the last one to crack as Frankel went on well over a furlong out.
Tom Queally: "best I've ridden"PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Queally, who has ridden the Abdullah-owned son of Galileo in all of his eight races, which now include four Group 1s, said: "Hewas amazing today and I'm fortunate to be a small part of it.
"He's the best horse I have ever sat on and the best I have ever seen.
"His work has been getting better and that performance speaks for itself. He does it all so effortlessly, he ticks all the boxes and more, and from a jockey's point of view he is flawless."
Putting the achievements of Frankel's career so far into perspective, Cecil said that the most famous Derby winner of all time, Shergar, is one of the few horses he has ever seen that has impressed as much while Abdullah said afterwards that he rates him higher than his Arc winner Dancing Brave.
Racing fans everywhere will also be cheered by Abdullah's suggestion that Frankel could stay in training as a four-year-old. "If Henry wants him next season than he can stay with him."
Canford Cliffs hung across towards the stands' side rail after he was beaten and although he won this race last year, connections echoed their sentiments from 12 months ago that the track may not have suited him.
"Hughesie said he was beat three out and thathe was never travelling on the downhill section of the track," said Richard Hannon. "I don't think it was his running - he's never hung across like that before."
Of the sensational winner, Hannon added: "Either that horse is unbeatable or we should have finished closer. We'll have to have another go at him."
Hughes added: "I don't want to make any excuses, Frankel's a brilliant horse and he was the best horse on the day.
"I just felt my lad didn't move great, he didn't really stretch and then he hung badly. The only time he's ever hung bad is when he's got beat. But I don't want to make excuses."
William Hill feel Frankel will have no problem with the competion at Ascot going 1-4 for him to remain unbeaten this year.