Frankel put up an astonishing performance to win the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket today. The Henry Cecil-trained colt went to the front as soon as he broke from the stalls and stayed there, making all the running to take the first Classic of the season by six lengths.
Frankel drew further and further ahead of the other 12 Guineas runners – he was at least a dozen lengths in front at one stage – and just idled a touch when unchallenged in the final furlong, allowing Dubawi Gold, trained by Richard Hannon, to fight into second six lengths behind him at 33-1. It was one of the most brilliant performances ever seen in a Classic race.
Third by half a length was the Ed Dunlop-trained Native Khan, winner of the Craven Stakes here earlier in the month. It was a further 11 lengths back to the 200-1 shot Slim Shadey in fourth.
It gave Henry Cecil a 25th British Classic triumph. His first was Bolkonski in the 2000 Guineas in 1975. Frankel’s jockey, 26-year-old Tom Queally, was having his first ride in the race.
“He did it better than I ever thought he would,” said Queally. “The one thing that this horse can definitely do is gallop, and why take him back and prevent him from galloping? We’ll let him do what he enjoys doing but, by God, he showed them.”
Frankel, a son of Galileo out of the Danehill mare Kind, is owned and bred by Khalid Abdulla, who also won the 2000 Guineas with Known Fact, Dancing Brave and Zafonic. His latest Classic winner – his 11th in Britain – was named after the great American trainer Bobby Frankel, who trained the Saudi prince’s horse in the United States and who died of leukemia in November 2009.
After remaining unbeaten in his five previous races, including last year’s Group One Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, Frankel started odds-on at 1-2. Connections have stated that they will see how he comes out of the race before deciding on a next aim – he is entered in the Dante Stakes at York, traditionally the most significant Derby trial. The dramatic speed and acceleration he showed today may mean that the extra half-mile of the Derby is beyond him, in which case the St James’s Palace Stakes over a mile at Royal Ascot would be the natural target.