Has there ever been a horse sent off at odds of 1/10 in a Group 1 race before? More to the point, will that ever happen again? I’m pretty sure the answer is no and no. That’s just one aspect of the Frankel phenomenon.
Four times Frankel had beaten Excelebration. In the Queen Anne Stakes he did it again, this time by a distance of 11 lengths, almost as far as in those four previous races combined. Jockey Tom Queally didn’t have to move a muscle except to move the horse out from his early position in the slipstream of his stablemate Bullet Train.
In a matter of strides Frankel was clear, and that was that. For a few strides Excelebration followed Frankel, but no other horses were involved.
Ian Mongan and Bullet Train executed the plan to ride the race like a piece of work to perfection, and the result was that a group of high-class racehorses were made to look like handicappers. The time of 1 minute 37.85 seconds was half a second outside the record, but so what?
Sally Gunnell was exactly the right person to present the trophies. She held World, Olympic, European and Commonwealth titles at the same time. Frankel would do just the same if those options were open to him. No wonder someone who did back him said, “It’s better than being in a building society and they pay you out quicker.”
After the race, trainer Henry Cecil said, “It’s not a surprise, it’s a relief. He did exactly what I thought, but he’s still improving.” He did exactly what we all thought he would do, and he did with a power and panache that will have thrilled everyone watching.