Click above to watch Frankel winning the St James’s Palace Stakes (Gr1)
(Image : Guardian - Footage : Racing UK)
ST. JAMES’S PALACE STAKES (Group 1)
Royal Ascot, 1600m
14 June 2011
Peerless in the 2000 Guineas, Frankel (GB) (Galileo) offered slightly more hope to his rivals in yesterday’s G1 St James’s Palace Stakes, but was still in command where it mattered to complete the notable double under jockey Tom Queally.
At 3-10, Khalid Abdullah’s unbeaten colt was sent off the shortest-priced favorite since Tudor Minstrel (GB) in 1947 and, after being settled in initially, was asked to lengthen passing halfway. Taking over from his pacemaker Rerouted (Stormy Atlantic) on the turn, he was once again left to chart his own passage up the straight as Zoffany (Ire) (Dansili) closed the margin down to 3/4 of a length.
Frankel’s win was a first in this race for his owner-breeder and a fourth for his trainer Sir Henry Cecil, who now has 73 Royal Ascot triumphs to his name. “Tom said he was very idle in the end, which is good as we can ride a race on him now,” the recently knighted patron of Warren Place said. “Now he’s getting wiser, he thought he’d done enough like he did in the Guineas. Tom said he wasn’t at all tired.”
Already exciting before he came here for the G2 Royal Lodge Stakes in September, Frankel ignited the blue touchpaper in that track-and trip contest when delivering a stellar performance to win by 10 lengths. His mid-race move on the turn set him apart and, after come-from-behind wins in Newmarket’s G1 Dewhurst Stakes in October and Newbury’s G3 Greenham Stakes on his return April 16, waiting tactics were dispensed with a fortnight later.
His monstrous effort in the Newmarket Classic led to an exchange of opinions as to the long-term effect of such forcing tactics, and Cecil was keen to take a step back with the hot-blooded star of the Juddmonte operation. Whereas Rerouted was not quick enough to lead him in the Guineas, this time Michael Hills was away and gone on the pacemaker as Tom Queally restrained Frankel in fourth tracking the peloton’s leader Grand Prix Boss (Jpn) (Sakura Bakushin O). Pushed past that runner with five furlongs still remaining, Frankel immediately began opening up as his rivals punched the panic button in behind. Within a furlong and a half he was in front and, although the final eighth seemed agonisingly long as Zoffany closed in under Ryan Moore, he had already inflicted the damage.
“He jumped a little bit slow and settled better than ever, so I was in a tricky position as no one was inclined to follow Michael Hills,” Queally said. “I thought I’d draw sooner rather than later, and he was running for a long way and was getting fed up in front, as he does it so easy. He’s growing up all the time and he’s more versatile than people think - he doesn’t have to jump and run, and we’ve got options regarding tactics. He’s still the one to beat at the moment.”
For Cecil, the relaxed nature his star colt exuded yesterday means that he can ponder alternative targets now. “He settled very well today and the pacemaker went off quite fast, so Tom had to ask him to take it up,” Cecil commented. “The plan was to do what he did in the Royal Lodge again and go just before the bend. He sprinted away, and the further he went, the better. Now I don’t have to make as much use of him, and as he settles, he could go a mile and a quarter for the G1 Juddmonte International at York August 17, or stay at a mile for the G1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood July 27, but we’ll see. It’s too soon after the race.”
Juddmonte homebred Frankel represents the highly successful cross of Galileo (Ire) over Danehill mares; this year alone, other runners bred on that pattern include Classic winners Golden Lilac (Ire) and Roderic O’Connor (Ire). The unbeaten colt is out of the successful sprinter Kind, whose half-brother Powerscourt (GB) (Sadler’s Wells) was at his best over 10 furlongs and beyond. Kind’s first foal was last year’s G3 Lingfield Derby Trial winner Bullet Train (GB) (Sadler’s Wells). Her 2-year-old Galileo colt, named Noble Mission (GB), is in training with Henry Cecil. The mare has a yearling colt by Oasis Dream (GB) and, after producing a filly by that Banstead Manor stallion in April, was bred back to Galileo May 15 and is believed to be in foal.
ST. JAMES’S PALACE STAKES (Gr1)
Sir Henry Cecil
Exceed and Excel
DREAM AHEAD (USA)
DUBAWI GOLD (GB)
WOOTTON BASSETT (GB)
GRAND PRIX BOSS (JPN)
Sakura Bakushin O
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News