Juddmonte next on list for Frankel after latest easy victory

NEXT stop York. That is the enticing prospect for horse racing fans after the mercurial Frankel won the Qipco Sussex Stakes, his 12th successive victory, in facile style at Glorious Goodwood.

Sent off at the prohibitively short odds of 1-20 on, there was never a moment of doubt for Sir Henry Cecil’s superstar whose victory was as emphatic as the record-breaking cycling exploits of Bradley Wiggins.

However this wonderful horse, the world’s best on official ratings, is likely to face a far sterner test in the Juddmonte International – York’s richest-ever race and an integral part of the Qipco British Champions Series – on August 22 when he tackles 10 furlongs for the first time.

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The 18 potential rivals include horses of the calibre John Gosden’s King George and Eclipse winner Nathaniel, the horse that Frankel beat on his racing debut two years ago. Breeders’ Cup hero St Nicholas Abbey, Windsor Palace and Treasury Beach head a formidably strong team from Aidan O’Brien’s all-conquering Ballydoyle stable.

And, even though Cecil could not attend Goodwood because of ongoing cancer treatment, Teddy Grimthorpe – racing manager to Frankel’s owner Prince Khalid Abdullah who also heads the Juddmonte breeding operation – said York would be the equine superstar’s next assignment.

“Obviously the two main races for him are the Juddmonte (August 22) and the Champion Stakes (at Ascot on October 20), but there are two months between them and Henry may decide he should run in a race like the Moulin (at Longchamp on September 16),” said Grimthorpe who is also York’s chairman.

Bullet Train was employed as a pacemaker for Frankel, with Tom Queally easing to the front in the home straight.

Farhh – a winner at Thirsk earlier this year – tried to go with him under Frankie Dettori but he just didn’t have the legs, the runner-up beaten by six lengths in a result that didn’t do justice to Frankel’s superiority.

He was eased down in the final stages by Queally, who was clearly already thinking of future tasks.

“Every moment spent on his back is a special moment and today was no different. He’s amazing, he had all the other horses cooked just after halfway and it was a nice prep for his next race,” said the winning jockey.

“He’s a class apart from anything else at the moment, he does it all very easily therefore I have a very easy job, all I have to do is steer.

“These are magic moments and it’s great to be part of it.”

Grimthorpe added: “Henry and everyone at Warren Place have done a fantastic job, it’s been a great effort to get him spot on.

“I think it’s hugely exciting that he’s going to step up in trip (for the Juddmonte International), it’s a new challenge for him and it’s what everybody wants to see him do and he’s ready to do it.

“We are lucky to have him and racing is fortunate, he’s just a remarkable equine.”

Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said of Farhh: “We weren’t expecting to win but he’s run a good race.

“The winner was much too good, as we knew beforehand. We didn’t need to wait until the race to find that out. I don’t know where we’ll go next.”

Malton trainer Richard Fahey said of third home Gabrial: “The winner is a wonderful horse. I think the most incredible horse we’ve ever seen.

“Hopefully, we won’t have to race him again and I think that was as good as our horse is.”

Meanwhile York is already gearing up for Frankel fever by making a special offer available so as many people as possible can say “I was there the day when…..”

A discount of £5, compared to on the day admission price, will be available for both the County Stand and Grandstand and Paddock enclosures at York on August 22.

Available exclusively through the track’s website, www.yorkracecourse.co.uk , racegoers just need to use the promotional code that is relevant to their desired booking, FrankelCS or FrankelGP. The discount code will be available for all new bookings made up to midnight on Sunday.

James Brennan, head of marketing and sponsorship, said: “Frankel is obviously a very special horse and it is a thrilling prospect that he looks set to grace our richest ever race, the 2012 running of the Juddmonte International.

“It promises to be one of those real ‘I was there when….’ moments in sport and we wanted to offer people a little incentive so that they can plan to be part of that special atmosphere.”