Before his nonchalant demolition of high-class opposition in Wednesday’s Group 1 Juddmonte International stakes at York, all the talk on the horse racing betting pages was of whether Frankel would stay 10 furlongs, after taking apart the opposition at a mile for the last two seasons, writes Elliot Slater.
Within seconds of his stunning seven-length romp to glory over Farhh and St Nicholas Abbey, the debate had swiftly moved on to discuss just how likely it is that the superb unbeaten four-year-old might be allowed to step up again in trip and tackle the 12 furlong Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in Paris in early-October.
Frankel is not amongst the entries for the great French race but could easily be supplemented into the contest, should his owner, Prince Khaled Abdullah, choose to take up that option. A win would establish him as unquestionably the greatest horse of all-time by winning the top European middle-distance event.
However, the alternative target of running in the 10 furlong Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot a couple of weeks later might well prove more of a lure, with many seasoned observers reasoning that Frankel really doesn’t have to do any more to be remembered as an all-time great.
The 1/10 favourite in the best racing odds had drawn a massive crowd to the Knavesmire to see the mighty Sir Henry Cecil-trained colt step up in trip, and supporters never had a moment’s concern as he cruised around the York circuit under a super-confident Tom Queally.
He took up the running and breezed past the high-class St Nicholas Abbey, whilst still on the bridle. Two furlongs out, Frankel quickened again and drew well clear as the crowd raised the roof on the impressive Ebor stand.
Whether it is to Ascot or Longchamp that Frankel goes for what is likely to be his final racecourse appearance, it is very hard to see him being beaten, having conclusively established himself as arguably the best horse that has ever graced the turf.