Frankel cruises home

HE may not have beaten much in a low-key contest on a day when three Group Two races should have dominated proceedings, but Frankel brought a gleam to the rheumy eyes of Henry Cecil on the third day of the Ladbrokes St Leger Festival yesterday.

Frankel, named in honour of the great American trainer Bobby, had set the tongues wagging in Newmarket before his first run there over a mile last month when he won under a hands-and-heel ride and he was a warm-order favourite to repeat that success in yesterday's Frank Whittle Partnership Conditions Stakes at Doncaster.

It was not that he won which impressed, it was the way he cruised home without apparent effort, his task having been made significantly easier when Frankie Dettori's mount Farhh reared in the stalls and took no part. That left Tom Queally to toy with the other two runners and win as he pleased.

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Bookmakers immediately made Frankel favourite for next year's 2,000 Guineas and Derby despite having seen another of Cecil's charges, Picture Editor, and Richard Fahey's unbeaten Wootton Bassett impress mightily in two-year-old races on Thursday.

There was a similarly facile success – and a much more comfortable few minutes for Dettori – when White Moonstone, starting at odds on, cruised away from a toiling field to take the day's final Group Two event, the Keepmoat Delivering Community Regeneration May Hill Stakes, over the straight mile.

Dettori was almost disdainful at the start, allowing the other fillies to blast from the stalls but once he shook the reins the race was over, White Moonstone accelerating with a withering show of class which took her five lengths clear of the 66-1 outsider Al Madina, trained at Hambleton by Bryan Smart.

The 100-30 favourite Zebedee, trained by Richard Hannon and ridden by Richard Hughes, won the day's opening Group race, the Polypipe Flying Childers Stakes over five furlongs. Oozing confidence, Hughes timed his challenge to perfection to win by a neck from Dinkum Diamond (6-1).

There was a hint of romance about the Doncaster Cup, one of the oldest races on the calendar, when the six-year-old Samuel, runner-up in the Lonsdale Cup at York last month, eased to success at 5-1 to crown a brilliant training feat by John Gosden.

Samuel suffered a nasty tendon injury two years ago and was thought unlikely to race again but patience from the owners Normandie Stud and unswerving commitment from Gosden and his team saw him return to action in July before going to York.

It had seemed for a few seconds that Tastahil, a 22-1 outsider ridden by Richard Hills for his father Barry, would pull off a remarkable victory, but William Buick produced Samuel inside the last 200 yards and had a length-and-a-quarter to spare at the line with 4-1 chance Motrice, ridden by Silvestre De Sousa, third after arriving late.