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Frankel made it nine wins from nine starts as he won the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Saturday in tremendous style in the inaugural edition of the British Champions Day.

The Sir Henry Cecil-trained superstar (4/11 favourite) came home four lengths clear of Excelebration (6/1) while French filly Immortal Verse (7/1) was third another three-and-a-half lengths adrift.

The victory rubberstamped his tag as being the best horse in the world this year while Cecil, who watched impassively from the stands as others went wild, will believe even more firmly that he is the best he has ever seen.

Once Frankel’s jockey Tom Queally took the lead there was little doubt as to him adding a fifth Group One win to his tally and gave 68-year-old Cecil only his second win in the race and Queally his 15th Group One success.

“He’s a horse in a lifetime,” Queally told the BBC.

“He’s more professional with age, the real deal.

“I let him go when he allowed me too. I always enjoy winners but this one is extra special.

“Who knows what happens next year, I’m enjoying it for the moment that it is. Everyone is. I don’t think I will ever ride a horse like this again.

“He’s a once in a lifetime horse,” added the quietly spoken Irishman.

Cecil added: “He was lovely and relaxed today. Now I’m looking forward to getting the winter over with and next season when I think he’ll be suited to a mile and a quarter.

“Everything went right today, it was wonderful. I think you will see an even better horse next year.

Frankel’s owner, Saudi Prince Khalid Abdullah, commented: “Many think he’s the best they’ve seen so I am lucky to have that horse.”

Cecil, who was given a rousing reception as he came down to the winners circle, had opted to run a pacemaker Bullet Train and Ian Mongan dutifully took him clear into the lead early on.

Queally, though, pressed the button having moved him into second with four furlongs to go and streaked into the lead while Excelebration – trained in England by Italian Marco Botti – gave chase.

However, both his and then a late flourish by two-time Group One winner Immortal Verse never looked like seriously posing a threat as Queally had upped the pace significantly between the three and two furlong marker and then had the luxury of easing him down.

Cecil, who had spent the first three races chainsmoking down by the parade ring, graciously shook Botti’s hand as he awaited his extraordinary horse to come back and then Frankel arrived to a thunderous round of applause and cheers.

Botti said that it had been worth trying their luck against such a superstar, who was beating him for the third time this season.

“What can you say my horse ran a super race as always but this horse that beat him is just out of his and the others league,” he said.

AFP gjw

 
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