Frankel Shines at British Champions Day
Punted as the richest day in British horse racing, the inaugural British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday 15 October attracted close to 27,000 spectators, many of whom were eager supporters of as yet unbeaten Frankel. The three-year-old colt lived up to his growing reputation by winning the one-mile Qipco Queen Elizabeth II stakes by four lengths, followed by Excelebration and Immortal Verse. Rated by the British Horseracing Authority as the best racehorse in the world, Frankel has been victorious in nine consecutive races, earning his owner, Saudi Prince Khalid Abdullah, no less than £567,000.
Sired by renowned Derby winner Galileo out of sprint listed winner Kind, and trained by Henry Cecil, Frankel was the 2-7 favorite to win the Queen Elizabeth II stakes. Frankel was named in honor of American trainer Bobby Frankel and showed his racing potential from the first time he took to the turf. As a three-year-old, Frankel won the 2,000 Guineas Stakes over the Rowley Mile at Newmarket on 30 April 2011, crossing the finish line six lengths in the lead. Frankel went on to take first place in the St James Palace Stakes at royal Ascot on 14 June 2011, as well as at the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on 27 July 2011, scoring a five length victory over Canford Cliffs – five time consecutive group one champion – in a high-profile race dubbed The Duel on the Downs. It was following this race that the BHA raised Frankel's official rating to 135, thereby declaring him officially to be the best racehorse in the world.
Certainly, Frankel is high in the popularity stakes having gained quite a following with racing enthusiasts, and being credited with raising the profile of British racing to a worldwide audience. In addition to the impressive BHA rating for Frankel, he has been rated at 143 by Timeform – the fourth best since they started publishing information for the horse racing industry in 1948. The horses rated in the top three by Timeform are Sea Bird (born 1962), Brigadier Gerard (born 1968) and Tudor Minstrel (born 1944). Saturday's British Champions Day race was the last event of the season for Frankel as he will rest up and train in preparation for next year, where he will have the opportunity to prove his talent on the track in the new racing season.