Frankel proves he is a class apart in Guineas

Cecil's sublime superstar jumps off first and blazes away from the field to hammer his Classic rivals at Newmarket

For the first part of the afternoon the sights and sounds here were pretty much the norm for 2,000 Guineas day: warm spring sunshine, handsome horses and pretty women prancing and parading, a pleasurable buzz of anticipation ahead of the first Classic of the season. Then, before the big race was half over, came a growing awareness from those present that they were witnessing something way left-field.

As the 13 runners made their way down the centre of the Rowley Mile, distant dots gradually taking on the identifiable shape of horse and rider, it could be seen that one had swiftly detached itself from the herd. Frankel, the odds-on favourite, the putative wonder horse, was fulfilling his destiny. Nature and nurture worked together to provide the glorious sight of a champion thoroughbred putting his rivals to the sword, and the heartening human story of the renaissance of his trainer, Henry Cecil.

But though top races have been won both from the front and by six lengths before, surely not like this, and through such an audacious, unexpected, strategy. As Frankel, drawn on the outside of the field, sprang forward from the start, far from waiting for the services of his supposed pacemaker Rerouted, his rider, Tom Queally, blazed him straight into the lead.

At the halfway stage his mighty stride had taken him 10 lengths clear and, although his dominance had been reduced to six lengths at the line it really was, to adapt a racing adage, a case of Frankel first, the rest – headed by Dubawi Gold – nowhere.

It was a 25th domestic Classic for Cecil, a sequence started by Bolkonski in the same race in 1975, and a first for Queally, who executed his ambushtactics perfectly on a colt with a tendency to hotheadedness. "No one expected us to make all," said the 26-year-old Irishman, "but we had been working at home on getting him settled, and it was a plan, if not the plan. He was very relaxed going to the start, which gave me the options, and it was only after 50 yards in the race I decided to go on.

"The horse is happiest when he's galloping, so that's what I let him do. There was going to be no point in hanging on to him and messing about; he's got an incredible stride and motor so I let him roll on.

"I had a look round at halfway and was delighted to see how far I was clear, as that gave me enough leeway to let him have a breather. And towards the end, without company, he was probably idling in front."

The ovation for Frankel's extraordinary performance started when he had a quarter of a mile still to cover and carried on seamlessly as Cecil welcomed Khalid Abdullah's colour-bearer into the winner's circle.

"That sort of support," said the trainer, whose successful resurgence after health and personal problems has been well documented, "is extremely moving. It makes you feel humble and embarrassed, and, to be honest, pretty weepish."

Frankel, at 1-2, was a hotter winning favourite of the Guineas than even the mighty Nijinsky in 1970, but his winning margin could not match Tudor Minstrel's eight lengths in 1947. "It's very difficult to put years togetherand compare different generations," said Cecil. "I'm not going to say he's better or worse than those greathorses, but he must come into that sort of category. And greatness, and having a genuine champion, is important to the public, and so to the sport."

And, presumably, to Qipco, the Qatari private investment company who sponsored yesterday's contest and today's filly showdown, the 1,000 Guineas, and is also behind the recently created British Champions Series, now with a marketing man's dream of an equine flag-bearer. Frankel, last year's joint-champion juvenile, is now unbeaten in six starts, and a best-priced 3-1 favourite to emulate his sire, Galileo, in the Derby.

But whether he will tackle the middle-distance route or prove himself king of the milers has yet to be decided. His next assignment may, or may not, be a step up to 10 furlongs in the Dante Stakes at York this month. "He rather went to sleep near the end," said Cecil. "He destroyed the others, not himself. But we'll see how he is after today; all options are still open."

Frankel paid tribute to not only the talent of his trainer but, as a grandson of the peerless stallion Sadler's Wells, who died last week at 30, the genes responsible for his own rare and powerful talent. He has on his forehead a white mark in the shape of a brilliant-cut diamond, appropriate enough for this gem among horses.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
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

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - 3-4 Month Fixed Contract - £30-£35k pro rata

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £26,000+

£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager

£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map