• York Ebor Festival, Day One

Frankel a class above in Juddmonte domination

ESPN staff
August 22, 2012
Frankel's unbeaten run continues © PA Photos

Frankel extended his unbeaten record to 13 wins from 13 races with another astounding triumph, this time in the Juddmonte International Stakes on the opening day of the York Festival.

With trainer Sir Henry Cecil, gravely ill with stomach cancer, in attendance to watch his prized charge, the world's top-ranked horse cruised to victory on his first appearance over 10 furlongs - leaving the rest of the Group One field in his wake down the stretch as jockey Tom Queally guided him to another memorable success.

Set off as the 1-10 favourite in the £725,000 race - the richest in the history of the Festival - Frankel was the slowest out of the gates but happily settled into the pack with a confidence built on 12 straight victories, not minding as the early pacesetters built a 12-length lead.

As the eight-strong field entered the final third of the race Queally finally released his charge to do what he does best - and Frankel did not disappoint as he romped away to victory with breathtaking speed.

His winning margin was eventually announced as seven lengths.

"We had our plan in place, and he did a good job," Queally said afterwards. "I'm delighted with him.

"He certainly was good. Every man and his dog seemed to have a say about where he should race and what he should do, but the owners made the call and to win 13 out of 13 speaks for itself."

In the battle for second, Farhh edged out St Nicholas Abbey - but the race was all about Frankel.

"It was great, wasn't it?" a frail Sir Henry Cecil said. "It's fantastic.

"It's great for Yorkshire too, they deserve to see him run. It makes me feel 20 years better."

In the prelude to Frankel's impressive display, Thought Worthy won the Great Voltigeur Stakes.

Jockey William Buick opted to take the three-year-old out at the front of the pack and it was a strategy that proved to be spot on - as Thought Worthy needed all of the four-length advantage built prior to the final dash for the line as favourite Main Sequence closed quickly, but not quickly enough.

"He galloped well and stayed very well," Buick said. "He battled on well and stuck his head out.

"You have to admire a horse like this because he always tries his best."

With Main Sequence a close second, 7/1 prospect Encke completed the places.

Earlier in the day, favourite Dundonnell was a comfortable winner in the Accomb Stakes. Jockey James Doyle was happy to bide his time from the back of the field, before kicking on down the final stretch as Ebn Arab failed to keep pace.

5/1shot Steeler followed in Dundonnell's wake to take second, with Afonso De Sousa - who set the early pace - placing in third.

"I was delighted with him," Doyle said of Dundonnell. "He's still very babyish, but he's helped me out there as the Aidan O'Brien horse [Afonso De Sousa] skipped away from us.

"I found myself in front too soon, but he's got a lot of gears."

In the day's first race, Tax Free emerged triumphant in the Symphony Group Stakes, beating out Mass Rally and Fitz Flyer.

In the after-glow of Frankel's performance, 9/2 favourite Olympiad won the BetVictor.com Stakes, while Danadana was the first past the post in the Talk to Victor Stakes.

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