Fabulous Frankel a runaway winner of Newmarket poll
The votes are in and to nobody's surprise the colt who topped the poll of most popular 2,000 Guineas winners was Frankel. The colt went unbeaten in 14 starts but one of the foundations of his legendary status was his astonishing demolition of the field at Newmarket in 2011.
How did he get to the 2,000 Guineas?
Owned and bred by Khalid Abdullah and named after the late American trainer Bobby Frankel, Frankel was put into training with Sir Henry Cecil. He beat subsequent King George winner Nathaniel on his debut and served notice of what was to come by following up by 13 lengths in a conditions race at Doncaster and winning the Royal Lodge Stakes by ten lengths before ending the season with victory in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes.
Frankel reappeared in the Greenham Stakes accompanied by a pacemaker in Picture Editor but he could lead him no further than the three-furlong pole as Frankel powered to the front to defeat Excelebration, another future Group 1 winner, by a more workmanlike four lengths. Cecil insisted he would step up considerably for the run in the Guineas.
What happened at Newmarket?
Despite Frankel's reputation there was no shortage of opposition in a 13-runner field which included three other Group 1 winners. The draw had left Frankel having to start from the opposite side of stalls to his supposed pacemaker Rerouted.
However the offer of help was ignored as Tom Queally took Frankel straight into the lead and what followed was one of the most extraordinary performances even seen in the Classic.
Striding down the middle of the Rowley Mile, Frankel had moved into a seven-length lead at halfway and had a six-length advantage at the finish, the second biggest winning margin since Tudor Minstrel won by eight lengths in 1947.
"We've seen some fantastic horses in our time. He must come up into that category. He is a very, very good horse. Greatness is important for English racing too, for the public who love their racing to have a champion. We've had it with Arkle, Mill Reef, Sea The Stars and other horses. It's important to have something for everyone to look forward to." Sir Henry Cecil
"By God he showed them. He did it better than I ever thought he would. The first thing you think is what kind of speed we are going but to Frankel it feels like a routine canter. I was amazed I was so far clear at halfway and done it so easily.We took them by surprise but I am delighted he did it like that." Tom Queally
What happened next?
Frankel did not look back after the Guineas, He went on to win the St James's Palace Stakes, Sussex Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, and stayed in training at four.
The following season he stepped up in distance after three more wins at a mile in the Lockinge, Queen Anne and Sussex Stakes. He took to the new challenge in customary style, winning the Juddmonte International by seven lengths and in his final race beat Cirrus Des Aigles to capture the Champion Stakes at Ascot after which he was retired to stud.
Frankel - 75 per cent
Sea The Stars - 15 per cent
Nijinsky - 6 per cent
Brigadier Gerard - 4 per cent
Total votes cast: 1,008