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Ascot

  • 16:05 Qipco Champion Stakes 1m 2f

  • (British Champions Middle Distance) (Group 1) £1,300,000 added 3yo+ 6 ran
  • Winner £737,230 2nd £279,500 3rd £139,880 4th £69,680
  • Going: Soft (Round Course: Soft (Heavy in places))
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 2m 10.22s
  • Off time: 16:11:13

Frankel retires a Champion

Cecil ace retires with unbeaten record intact

Last Updated: 20/10/12 5:33pm

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Frankel: Imperious at Ascot

Frankel: Imperious at Ascot

Frankel made it 14 wins from 14 starts with victory over Cirrus Des Aigles in his last ever race, the QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot.

The mile contest didn't go exactly to plan for Sir Henry Cecil's superstar (2/11 favourite), as he missed the break and his pacemaker Bullet Train struggled to get the lead, however the final manner of his success oozed class.

Tom Queally brought his mount through on the outside of runners to challenge French raider Cirrus Des Aigles (9/2) for the lead with a furlong to run, and although the winning margin wasn't as spectacular as in the past, there was clear daylight at the line.

Corine Barande-Barbe's gelding was prominent throughout but the second-highest-rated horse in the world and his jockey Olivier Peslier had no answer when the pair were headed in the closing stages.

John Gosden's Nathaniel was pushed along before the home turn and was a well-held third at the winning post.

Cecil's son of Galileo was cheered by a packed Ascot crowd before the race and parade, and was welcomed back into the winners' enclosure with three cheers.

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.

Reaction

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."

Owner Prince Khalid Abdullah confirmed Frankel had run his last race and is to be retired to stud. He said: "That is the end of it and he will retire."

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."


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