Frankel retires unbeaten with 14 wins in as many races


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The Independent Online

Frankel was at his majestic best as he went in 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 raider to win cosily by a length and three-quarters.

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 confirmed Frankel had run his last race and would to be retired to stud.

He said: "That is the end of it and he will retire."

With Frankel missing the break by a couple of lengths, Ian Mongan on Bullet Train, Frankel's brother and regular pacemaker, was left looking for his stablemate.

However, Queally let the horse make up the ground in his own time and join the other five runners.

Meanwhile, Cirrus Des Aigles had gone to the front until Bullet Train went on to do the job he is used to.

Cirrus Des Aigles, rated the second best in the field, tried to stretch Frankel by going on early in the straight but the great horse was simply too good.

Nathaniel was two and a half lengths away in third.

This was only Frankel's second race over 10 furlongs, having stepped up from a mile for the first time at York in August in the Juddmonte International Stakes, sponsored by his owner.

His previous 12 victories before that had come over seven furlongs and a mile, and included the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at this meeting 12 months ago as well as the St James's Palace Stakes and the Queen Anne Stakes on this track.

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, the Abdullah's racing manager, said: "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 just 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 and that is him.

"I was reasonably cool, but I began to yell a bit.

"The crowd's reaction is great - the greatest for the greatest.

"Frankel has brought a whole new generation of people to the sport. He's brought a wider public recognition of the sport and he's given them something to savour.

"He's the ultimate equine athlete. We've never seen anything like him.

"Prince Khalid said to me he has run his last race and I think that is the correct decision - he has given us three sensational years."