Thursday, August 23, 2012

Frankel, what next?

Lady of Shamrock won as expected, but it was not a great start to the EPL or La Liga seasons as Real Madrid failed to win and Man Utd lost. Barcelona and Man City won as expected but City had to dig deep down to overcome newcomers Southampton.

Back to racing where Frankel gave yet another peer-less demonstration in the Juddmonte International, dismantling the likes of St Nicholas Abbey and Farhh. Now that he's proved his authority at a mile and a quarter against quality opposition, what is next for him? The Champion Stakes at the same distance on Champions Day seems to be the preferred destination for connections. This will not enhance his rating or reputation. There are 3 things that remain for him to show before he's unequivocally called the best thoroughbred to have ever run, to put any debate to rest, to surpass the Sea The Stars, Ribot, and Secretariat in all minds. To prove to any racing goer beyond any doubt.

For purits like me, he needs to win at a mile and a half. This is the ultimate distance for European racing and breeding. This is the Classic distance that separated the greats like Dancing Brave, Montjeu, Sinndar, to very good ones that tried but didn't stay like Dubai Millenium.

He needs to win outside of England. Black Caviar has come to Royal Ascot to show her greatness and Frankel needs to step outside of these shores to show he can travel and adapt to a new environment whether it's in France or the States. Or Dubai.

Finally, the ultimate would be to win on dirt. Giant's Causeway and Sakhee, turf champions in their own right, almost did it on dirt in their Breeders Cup ventures. To show to the racing world, particularly the American public, that he's the uncontested champion on either surface.

In other words, to achieve the greatest of all feats, he needs to win the Arc and the Breeders Cup Classic. The Coolmore connections have to be lauded to have tried So You Think in both, plus in the Dubai World Cup. They had the horse to do it, but not the trainer. Frankel, I believe he can achieve both, but I don't think the connections will run in any of these 2 races. His place among the greats is already secured, the risk of him losing his undefeated tag is too big to take. As is, he's the best there has ever run in most minds. Whether it's an uncontested or undisputed fact, is not something that will concern the connections. It looks like Champions Day Champion Stakes is the remaining race for all of us to look forward to savoring this amazing thoroughbred that is Frankel.

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