herald

Friday 31 October 2014

Four more starts before wonderhorse Frankel is retired

FRANKEL took his already formidable game to a whole new level with an annihilation of his rivals in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Henry Cecil's wonder-horse arrived in Berkshire with a perfect record of 10 unbeaten runs and he was an incredible 1/10 favourite to extend that sequence in the opening contest of the meeting.

Given his main opponent, Excelebration, had already been beaten by the world's highest-rated racehorse on four occasions, Frankel's routine victory was expected.

But it was still impossible not to be blown away by what appeared to be a career-best performance as the four-year-old slammed his old rival by 11 lengths under Tom Queally.

Now 11 from 11, Cecil suggested his pride and joy will have four more starts before retirement beckons. He said: "He did exactly what I thought he would but he is still improving and Tom said he is getting better."

Quite where those next starts will be is up in the air.

Cecil, who reported a tilt at the Breeders' Cup to be "unlikely", said: "He looks as though he is going to stay a mile and a quarter and we'll leave our options open.

"He's in the Eclipse, the Sussex, the Juddmonte -- which is important -- and he will be in the two races here at the end of the year.

"He could have three more races at the end of the year or he could have four. He'll tell me.

"We have to thank the Prince (Khalid Abdullah, the owner) for keeping him in training for another year, commercially it made more sense to retire him.

"You only get horses like him once a lifetime."

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