Frankel Wins Champions Stakes to End Career With Perfect Record
Frankel, the world’s top-ranked horse, won the Champions Stakes at Ascot to end his racing career with a perfect 14-0 record.
Ridden by Tom Queally and trained by Henry Cecil, Frankel finished the 1 1/4-mile race in Berkshire, west of London, in 2 minutes, 10.22 seconds. Cirrus des Aigles, last year’s race winner, was 1 3/4 lengths back in second, with Nathaniel finishing third.
“He traveled around well,” Queally said in an interview yesterday with the BBC. “His class really showed today.”
After the bay colt’s 14th straight victory, the BBC reported that Frankel’s owner, Prince Khalid Abdullah, said the four- year-old would be retired. Teddy Grimthorpe, the prince’s racing manager, told the broadcaster on Oct. 1 the race may be Frankel’s last.
“He’s the best I’ve ever seen,” Cecil told the BBC after the race. “I’d be surprised if there was ever any better.”
Frankel was the overwhelming 2-11 favorite in the six-horse field, meaning a successful $11 bet returned $2 plus the original stake.
He came out of the gate slowly on the soft track and was running fourth as Cirrus des Aigles went to the front. Bullet Train, Frankel’s brother, then took the lead to set the race’s pace before fading and giving way to Cirrus des Aigles.
The horse finally moved in front with about a furlong left and pulled away from Cirrus des Aigles for the win.
“He was in great heart today,” Queally said. “What can I say about him that hasn’t been said before?”
Frankel earned 737,230 pounds ($1.2 million) for the victory. The race was part of British Champions Day at Ascot, racing’s richest race day with prize money of more than 3 million pounds.
To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at email@example.com.
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