Frankel did everything expected of him and more with a breathtaking victory in the G1 English 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.
Frankel (3c Galileo – Kind by Danehill) exploded from the gates and immediately dropped his pacemaker Rerouted. The odds-on favourite ran them ragged and at one stage must have been a dozen lengths clear of the field.
Placegetters Dubawi Gold (Dubawi) and Native Khan (Azamour) made some progress among his shell-shocked rivals but it was Frankel all the way.
The Juddmonte Farms homebred was still six-lengths clear at the post to give trainer Henry Cecil his third win in the classic. “Everything went right and he is a very, very good horse,” Cecil said. “It’s difficult to compare years, but he’s right there with the best of them.”
Frankel (1-2) was sent off at even shorter odds than 1970 Guineas winner Nijinsky (4-7) and comparing him to the Vincent O’Brien trained champion isn’t flying too high.
Frankel firmed into a 2-1 favourite for the English Derby (2400m) but Cecil said he was undecided about a start at Epsom Downs. “He was waiting for the other horses in the final furlong but whether he gets the Derby distance is a different matter.
Cecil has the option of stepping up to 2000m in the G2 Dante Stakes on May 12 or keeping him at 1600m for the G1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 14.
Frankel was rated Britain’s champion colt last year after an unbeaten campaign that included a G1 victory in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket and he impressed first-up this term in the G3 Greenham Stakes at Newbury.
Frankel is by Coolmore’s champion sire Galileo who won the 2001 English Derby. Juddmonte Farms owner Khalid Abdulla also raced his dam Kind and damsire Danehill. Kind was a Listed winner at Nottingham and Hamilton and her first foal Bullet Train (Sadler’s Wells) was a G3 winner of last year’s Lingfield Derby Trial.
Dubawi Gold’s trainer Richard Hannon was pleased with his colt’s performance but spoke for all the rival camps when planning to the remainder of the season. “Dubawi Gold is a very good horse and there’s no reason now not to go for the Irish Guineas,” he said. “But wherever Frankel goes, I don’t want to.”