Champion Jockey Michael Roberts
(Image : Marlirka)
A CHAMPION SPEAKS
In the immediate aftermath of Frankel’s stunning victory in the Sussex Stakes (Gr1) at Goodwood UK, on Wednesday, champion trainer Henry Cecil glowed that he was the best racehorse he’d known. He said he’d witnessed the great miler, Blushing Groom and the herculean efforts of Shergar, but he wasn’t around for the great match races between Tudor Minstrel and the best of his era. In his view, Frankel surpasses the lot, and he wasn’t surprised by his 5 length margin of victory (over a horse who was going for his third consecutive Group One).
Eleven-times champion South African jockey, Michael Roberts, who also taught the British to ride when he won their championship in 1989, reflected at dinner Thursday evening on Frankel’s performance, and remembered the other top class front runners of years gone by, Reference Point and Slip Anchor (both of whom won the English Derby end-to-end), and his thoughts were simple. The difference between those horses, as effective as they were and Frankel, is that they simply ground their opposition down, while Frankel does that ambling along on the front end, and then he finds gear-after-gear. He doubts he’s ever seen anything comparable himself, and he’s been around a few.