Oct 20 2012
Frankel was at his majestic best as he went into retirement after making it a perfect 14 victories in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot.
The world's highest-rated racehorse, trained by Sir Henry Cecil, won his 10th Group One race with a trademark display of pure brilliance - despite being slowly away from the stalls and running in very testing conditions.
Sent off the 2-11 favourite, Khalid Abdullah's wonder colt took up the running from Cirrus Des Aigles over a furlong out under his ever-present jockey Tom Queally and pulled away from the French star to win cosily by a length and three-quarters. Nathaniel was another two and a half lengths away in third.
Cecil said: "He didn't like the crowd much, but he was very relaxed. He's the best I've ever had. He's the best I've ever seen. I'd be surprised if there's ever been any better."
Abdullah, one of the world's leading racehorse breeders, confirmed that Frankel has run his last race and is heading for stud duties. He said: "That is the end of it and he will retire."
Queally said: "He's just getting more and more relaxed as time goes on. He waited until the gates were open, then he was away. I was happy all the way, but there's no doubt he's better on better ground. His class showed today.
"I walked the track and I was a little worried about the conditions. Having walked it in the home straight I knew it wasn't too heavy for him to quicken up.
"You want every angle covered and everything in your favour, so in that respect there was always a little worry, but he was in great heart today and he looked a lot better than he did 12 months ago on this day. He was so good today, even on that ground."
Teddy Grimthorpe, Abdullah's racing manager, added: "He's wonderful. He probably wasn't enjoying the ground as he normally does, but he's produced it. I was quite relaxed when he missed the break. He did it at York and the great thing is he got into a rhythm. He wasn't pulling, he was straightforward.
"He had a trouble-free passage, then it always looked like he was going to win. He had it under control in the straight. The crowd's reaction is great - the greatest for the greatest. He's the ultimate equine athlete. We've never seen anything like him. He has given us three sensational years."