GLORIOUS GOODWOOD: Frankel proves his God-like status

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You can call him a wonderhorse, a champion, a freak.

But as he notched his 12th success from 12 at Goodwood, he took on God-like status.

Has there ever been a horse the public - and not just the racing public - are so desperate to see? It’s doubtful.

Has Goodwood’s pre-parade ring and parade ring ever been as packed before a race? Shouldn’t think so. Has one horse been responsible for traffic jams on the way up to Goodwood for a fixture that is normally one of the quieter ones? Can’t remember one.

Has a horse ever won a Group 1 race so easily and effortlessly as Frankel won this? Only Frankel himself, winning other Group 1s. And has any horse ever won the Sussex Stakes twice? No.

Frankel (pictured above by Chris Hatton) didn’t look like he had to get out of second gear as he put his three rivals to the sword on the South Downs to retain the prestigious Sussex crown.

Rarely can a race with so predictable an outcome have caused so much excitement.

Frankel is a racing God, no doubt about it. To the point where as the big race loomed, the clouds drifted away - and by the time he was paraded back into the winner’s enclosure the sun was blazing down and there was hardly a cloud in sight.

For his next trick, he’ll probably part the sea.

His victory here one year after blowing away the supreme Canford Cliffs in his first visit to Goodwood has now set up a trip to York for the Juddmonte International - his first try at the longer ten-furlong distance.

For his latest run-out, the Sir Henry Cecil-trained colt faced just three rivals, including his pacemaker Bullet Train.

Bullet Train made the early running, but Tom Queally, who has ridden Frankel on each of his dozen successes, was never far behind and the 1/20 favourite - did anyone back him at that price? - eased to the front with about two furlongs to travel.

The result was never in doubt as he eased into top gear to pull away in the closing stages. Godolphin’s Farhh, always seen as his likely closest challenger, if not a very close challenger, came through to finish six lengths behind in second with an SP of 11/1. Paul Hanagan on Gabrial never looked like keeping pace.

Now a first stab at ten furlongs will be next for Frankel on August 22. York should be warned: The place will come to a standstill that day too.

Connections of the great beast are never complacent - that’s probably one of the secrets of their success - and afterwards they were as jubilant as ever.

Teddy Grimthorpe, owner Prince Khalid Abdullah’s racing manager, said: “It was set up really, really well. Bullet Train went a nice gallop for him and he just increased when he needed to.

“Tom let him roll down the hill and then let out a few inches of rein, then he just quickened as he does which is so fantastic - he put it to bed in a few strides, which is him.

“It’s a pleasure to watch him. He’s much more mature, both mentally and physically.

“Henry and everyone at Warren Place have done a fantastic job, it’s been a great effort to get him spot on.

“I think it’s hugely exciting that he’s going to step up in trip (for the Juddmonte International), it’s a new challenge for him and it’s what everybody wants to see him do and he’s ready to do it.

“We are lucky to have him and racing is fortunate, he’s just a remarkable equine.”

Queally said: “Every moment spent on his back is a special moment and today was no different. He’s amazing, he had all the other horses cooked just after halfway and it was a nice prep for his next race.

“He’s a class apart from anything else at the moment, he does it all very easily therefore I have a very easy job, all I have to do is steer.

“These are magic moments and it’s great to be part of it.”

Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said of Farhh: “We weren’t expecting to win but he’s run a good race.

“The winner was much too good, as we knew beforehand. We didn’t need to wait until the race to find that out.

“I don’t know where we’ll go next.”

Richard Fahey said of third home Gabrial: “The winner is a wonderful horse. I think the most incredible horse we’ve ever seen.

“Hopefully we won’t have to race him again and I think that was as good as our horse is.”

The rest of the day-two card at Goodwood paled into insignificance by comparison.

That’s not meant as a criticism of the quality of the rest of the card - merely an acknowledgement we had been in the presence of a God-like creature.

Goodwood is highly unlikely to see Frankel again - it is also highly unlikely ever to forget that see him it did, not once but twice.