Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

The Punter: Frankel simply unbeatable

A perfect 10. That's how Frankel ended the season with another imperious display in winning the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on the biggest and richest racing day in British history.

He took centre stage on Champions Day and is now only 7-4 from 3-1 with Hill's to stay unbeaten next season which is more than a real possibility as he should be even better as a four-year-old and have no trouble in stepping up.

One would have thought it impossible to steal the limelight away from the greatest miler seen for decades but the British Horseracing Authority came very close with the introduction of the controversial and ill-judged whip rule which if allowed to continue, will drive racing down the pan.

When Christophe Soumillion lost more than £50,000 in percentage prize money on top of a five-day ban for using the whip six times on Cirrhus des Aigles in the last furlong of the Champion Stakes, he ended up more stung than the horse!

The Frenchman actually hit his horse six times compared to seven by Jamies Spencer on the runner-up So You Think.

But two of those Spencer persuaders came 20 yards before the furlong pole which means he was on the limit of five strikes in that last furlong.

It's an illustration of how unbalanced the current rule is and why it must be reviewed. At present we have the ridiculous situation where the whip can be used seven times in a five furlong sprint and only eight times in the Grand National.

Back to Frankel, Sir Henry Cecil foresees “quite some season next year”. His four lengths defeat of Excelebration emphasised his standing as the world's best rated horse, just ahead of Black Caviar. It would be great to see them clash next year but with Frankel moving up in distance, that's unlikely. Races such as the Lockinge, Eclipse, Juddmonte International, a return to Ascot for the Champion Stakes and a career finale in the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita, will be on Frankel's agenda.

Most great horses lose at some time but Frankel looks being one of the few exceptions.

Saturday sees potential Derby hopes in action at Doncaster in the Racing Post Trophy including Epsom ante-post favourite Camelot, one of nine entries trained by Aidan O'Brien.

Another is the very useful Daddy Long Legs, winner of the Royal Lodge Stakes but he's 7-2 second favourite behind Camelot. The latter won his maiden at Leopardstown in July and is at best 9-4 to follow up at Donny. It should pay to follow the market.

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