A late post but one I have thought a bit about tonight…. What a day.
If you read yesterdays post, I was a Canford man. I maintain given the evidence available, I feel it was the right choice for me. Yet, Frankel not only won, he destroyed them. We witnessed racing history.
Is that a strong statement, of course not, it is under-statement. Frankel is the horse of my generation, surpassing in my view the achievements of Sea the Stars.
What did he achieve? Canford Cliffs ran his race. Forget what Hannon suggested about being less effective on downhill courses, he gave his show. Rio got closer to Canford because Canford was forced off the bridle earlier. In my view Canford ran to form, without Frankel in the race, CC would have defeated Rio to the same length as his Ascot win. So Frankel floored Canford and I mean floored.
This does not mean Canford has a diminished reputation, not at all…. Consider, Canford came into the race off the back of five Group one victories, on the bounce. He had just defeated Goldikova (as mentioned with Rio in behind), herself a 16 Group One winner who has shown good form this season. Canford Cliffs is 4 and at his prime, he had to give Frankel 8 pounds for his extra year of development and experience.
After watching the race, I think Frankel could give Canford 8lbs tomorrow and win. That is how good it was. If further evidence was needed, Rasjaman and Rio de la Plata, two of Europes best were toiling away like Class 5 handicappers, unbelieveable if I had not seen it. If another factor was required to make this performance exceptional, he did it Secretariat Belmont style….. from the front, come and have a go if you think you are hard enough. No pace to aim at, have you ever seen the like?
To reflect on what I got wrong is simple. The answer is that the Major believed Frankel would never settle well enough in a small field. Watching the race, this was evidently wrong after 400 yards. Forget the physical development of the horse, this was the moment, Frankel became a star. If connections have got the key to settling him, then forget mile company, there are new targets in sight. Frankel raced beautifully from the gates opening. gone was the lit up Guineas attitude, gone were the tactics at Ascot where he was asked for maximum effort at half way. Instead Queally had the pleasure of playing statuesque passenger while his utter machine of a horse cruised the sting out of the best mile horses the world could throw at him. Then, a simple shake up and a collective breath drawn, christ what acceleration. It was to bed in two strides, goodnight.
In fact, throughout the race, Frankel settled so well, Queally had to fight to pull him up. Stay? On that evidence, 1m 2f and who knows is in range. An Arc horse? Well noone has dared enter him in the market (quite right too) and connections would be foolish at this stage to speculate, his stud value needs protecting.
Khalid Abdullah has given so much to racing, could he possibly give us the gift of seeing Frankel at 4? This is what will be on my letter to Father Christmas!
In a fortnight, Frankel will celebrate the anniversary of his first race. A few points of note. On debut he won by half a length in a class 4 maiden. He was one of a pair of horses to pull clear from the rest. That day he defeated Nathaniel, last weeks King George winner by less than a length. He returned 7/4 and it was to be the last time he went off odds-against.
What we saw today was as good as it gets. Often the tendency when reviewing top class sporting stars of any code, is to revert to a view that historic figures are always greatest. This is wrong. It is right to consider, for example, whether Tendulkar is the greatest ever batsmen. Are Barcelona the best ever team, I think so. Things get better, like the mens 100m record….
With Frankel, I think it is evident he is the greatest miler of all time. Where he goes next, I do not know. If he were my horse, he would be packing his bags for the Breeders Cup Mile.
You will appreciate that tonights post has been given over to appreciate the stunning performance of Frankel. Thus I have curtailed the reasoning that follows…. enjoy.
4.50 Galway Guiness Hurdle
Simplicity is wonderful. The Real Article went down to Captain Cee Bee by a short margin, demonstrating his real ability. In future handicaps, his mark is due to go up a stone and a half. 4/1 Thank You – Shoe in!
Silverhand and Hidden Universe would be my each way considerations.
3.45 Goodwood Lillie Langtry
Plenty that are appealing but none more so than the French raider, Shankardeh 13/2. I am sure she is improving as Azamour fillies do. Last time out in good group company over slightly shorter, she was staying on well and went down by a mere quarter length. More to come and the price is good for the Major. There will be plenth of cash for the Cecil / Queally horse, keeping our price honest.