Frankel wins Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot

 

Frankel turned in another spellbinding performance to maintain his unbeaten record in the Queen Anne Stakes, the opening contest of Royal Ascot.

Sir Henry Cecil's colt put an early-season setback behind him to make a brilliant return to action in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury last month and he was an incredible 1-10 favourite to register his 11th victory from as many starts.

The world's highest-rated racehorse predictably tracked his pacemaker and three-parts brother Bullet Train before taking over the lead three furlongs from home.

Excelebration did his best to stick with his old rival, but Frankel was once again in a class of his own as he stretched clear under Tom Queally to score by 11 lengths.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained Excelebration filled the runner-up spot, his fifth defeat at the hands of Frankel.

Side Glance finished third.

The result was scarcely in doubt from the halfway stage, as Frankel moved ominously to the lead still full of running.

Just for a moment it appeared as though Excelebration could shake up the market leader, but Frankel showed a quite devastating turn of foot to leave him and the rest of the field standing.

Excelebration almost paid the price for trying to take on Frankel as he tired in the final furlong, but he held off Side Glance by a neck to claim the runner-up spot.

Cecil said: "It's relief, I'm not surprised but relieved.

"There's no such thing as a certainty. He is a great horse and you've seen him for yourself so everybody can form their own opinion.

"He did exactly what I thought but he's still improving, Tom said he's still improving. He looks as if he'll stay a mile and a quarter so we'll leave our options open.

"He's in the Eclipse, he's in the Sussex, he's in the Juddmonte and the two races at the end of the year. He'll tell me what to do next, I don't tell him.

"It's very unlikely he'll go to the Breeders' Cup."

Queally added: "It was basically what everyone expected, so it's great that he did it.

"It looks like he's improving. He settled, he travelled, he got everything else off the bridle when I was still sitting there - he's amazing.

"That's his best performance. He ticked all the boxes, he did everything right. From my point of view he's been flawless in the past but I couldn't have asked for anything more.

"He had the perfect prep for it, Henry had no complications and we were able to do it nicely."

O'Brien said of the runner-up: "We were delighted with our horse but Frankel is unbelievable. We'll look at the entries we've made, see how he is and then have a talk about it."

Andrew Balding added of Side Glance: "I'm very pleased with our horse but I hope Frankel steps up in distance later in the season and if he does we'll come back here for QEII."

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