Cecil stays level-headed while all about him lose theirs over Frankel

After maintaining his unbeaten record in such taking style in the Dewhurst Stakes, generally accepted as Europe's top race for juveniles, Frankel goes into the winter as a red-hot ante-post favourite for the 2,000 Guineas. And should he come through the close season unscathed, he will carry not only Tom Queally on his back as he canters to post for the Newmarket Classic, but the weight of hopes and expectations.

The handsome colt will now carry a banner for all. For the punters who have backed him; for those in the industry who seek a champion with the credentials to make a stallion; for racing fans who love to see a top-class racehorse; for the marketing people who know a "sexy" story when they see one (a horse named after a genius horseman lost to cancer, handled by another fighting the same disease); and for the public, from the mawkishly sentimental to the quietly genuine, who wish his trainer, Henry Cecil, well.

Amid the celebrations and acclaim after Frankel's clear-water victory on Saturday Cecil appeared the most grounded of all. With more than 40 years in the game he is perfectly aware that bubbles, particularly those encasing brilliantly precocious talent, can burst. He has, after all, had animals like Diesis, Be My Chief and High Estate in his care.

And, pointedly, he was quick to make a greater fuss of his second Group One winner of the weekend, the Champion Stakes hero Twice Over, than of the bright youngster. The five-year-old has been at Warren Place for four seasons now, with a fifth, starting with a trip to the Dubai World Cup, on the horizon. His star has been constant and Cecil declared: "He is my favourite horse."

As for Frankel, like Twice Over a bearer of the famous and faithful Khalid Abdullah silks, Cecil was more dispassionate. He has long rated the son of Galileo's athletic ability and that the bright bay is an outstanding juvenile is there for all to see, but a two-year-old racehorse is, in human terms, an adolescent, with the potential to develop as erratically and unpredictably as any teenager. "It is lovely to have a horse like this," he said, "and I've never had a two-year-old who works like him. Hopefully, he will have a good winter, and everything will go right and he will make a lovely three-year-old.

"But I am not going to do the usual thing for a trainer, to say he is the best horse I have ever trained, or tell the jockey to say he's the best he has ever ridden. That's for when they have proved themselves as three-year-olds and are going to stud. And we have a long way to go before then."

If collective will has its way, Frankel will continue his regal progress; and it can be noted, even if fancifully, that his four white socks are appropriately patterned with the black splashes known as ermine marks.

As Cecil knows, true greatness on the Turf must be proven in the adult company of the Classics and beyond. And if Frankel joins the list of bright early burners whose flame gutters at three, he will be neither the first nor the last. Take the juveniles judged most highly by Timeform, the analysts' bible, for more than 60 years.

Top of the list, in the annual publication's formative days, was Windy City, with a rating in 1951 of 142. He won Ireland's top juvenile race by eight lengths, the Gimcrack Stakes by five, was sold to the States and won one small contest at three. Celtic Swing (138 in 1994) won the Racing Post Trophy by 12 lengths and the Classics were regarded as a formality. He was not a total failure at three – second in his Guineas (at 4-5 favourite) and winner of the French Derby – but was no wonder horse either. The brilliantly fast filly Star Of India (138 in 1955) failed to train on, with one unplaced run at three.

Then there were putative second comings like Apalachee (137 in 1973), Arazi (135 in 1991) and Tromos (134 in 1978). Some crack juveniles do, of course, maintain and develop their ability in later life but an overweening champion at two and three is the exception, not the rule. Perhaps it is an omen that the most recent in the Timeform lists was the Cecil-trained Reference Point, winner of the Racing Post Trophy equivalent by seven lengths in 1986 and the Derby, King George and St Leger the following year.

Frankel, likely to have a mark of at least 130, will certainly give us all something to dream about over the winter. But before that there is the small matter of the world's richest meeting, the Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs next month. On Saturday night the Aidan O'Brien-trained Joshua Tree earned his ticket to the Turf by edging out Mores Wells and Redwood in the Canadian International. And in the Grade One sprint on the same Woodbine card, Serious Attitude repaid Newmarket-based Rae Guest's perseverance by bouncing back to form with a timely victory. The filly's next date is in a US auction ring, rather than racecourse.

Juvenile 'wonder' horses

Timeform's highest-rated two-year-olds:

142 Windy City 1951

138 Celtic Swing 1994, Star Of India 1955



137 Apalachee 1973



135 Arazi 1991, Petingo 1967, La Tendresse 1961, Floribunda 1960



134 Sing Sing 1959, My Swallow 1970, Deep Diver 1971, Grundy 1974, Tromos 1978, Storm Bird 1980



133 Abernant 1948, Young Emperor 1965, Showdown 1963, Bold Lad 1966 Jacinth 1972, Diesis 1982

132 Nearula 1952, The Pie King 1953, Wind And Wuthering 1981, Huntingdale 1983, Reference Point 1986, Xaar 1997

Sue Montgomery's Nap

Royal Exchange (4.10 Pontefract)

Posted a creditable effort when third in a seven-furlong Group Three last time and can make it four from seven upped in distance and down in grade.



Next best

Lucy Limelites (2.10 Pontefract)

Her pedigree – by Medicean out of In The Limelight who won over a mile at two – says she will appreciate today's the step up in trip and she can also improve for better ground after two creditable efforts on soft.

One to watch

Cotillion (I Williams) found the two and a quarter miles of the Cesarewitch beyond him but travelled well until his stamina failed. He should continue his progress in less demanding marathons.



Where the money's going

After his Group One double with Frankel and Twice Over, who will be in training next year, Henry Cecil is 5-1 from 8-1 for the 2011 trainers' title with Ladbrokes.



Chris McGrath's Nap

Pantella (2.00 Windsor)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

Teaching Assistant

£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Newly Qualified Teachers

£90 - £115 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are currently looking fo...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments