x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

'Superstar' Frankel lives up to hype

The Saudi-owned colt favourite in Guineas tilt, but there is disappointment for Godolphin as Saamidd finishes last to end unbeaten record.

Frankel, ridden by Tom Queally, proved too strong for competition in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket yesterday.
Frankel, ridden by Tom Queally, proved too strong for competition in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket yesterday.

NEWMARKET, ENGLAND // Khalid Abdullah, the Prince of Saudi Arabia, will be involved heavily in discussions about plans for his horse Frankel who was labelled "a superstar" after romping to victory in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes yesterday.

The Galileo colt left fancied rivals Dream Ahead and Godolphin's Saamidd trailing in his wake to win the Group 1 juvenile contest by two-and-a-quarter lengths.

He was quickly installed as favourite for the 2,000 Guineas and the Epsom Derby.

Henry Cecil, the trainer, said: "He's a superstar. It's nice to have done it when it mattered. He's done it well and he's very special.

"I'm hopeful that he will make a Guineas horse and maybe the St James's Palace, whether he will get further we'll have to see and I'll need to talk to the Prince about that," Cecil added.

"I've never had a horse work like him as a two-year-old and the last one I remember who was similar would be Arazi. He goes into a sixth gear. If he was a Formula One car he'd win everything unless I was driving him."

Saamidd, the two-year-old Street Cry colt, was a huge disappointment, finishing last and losing his unbeaten record.

Simon Crisford, Godolphin's racing manager, admitted before the race that Saamidd had "gone a bit to sleep" after his win in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster last time out.

Saamidd raced keenly early on yesterday but the distress signals were already out after two furlongs and he finished well out of the frame.

"Saamidd hated the soft ground," Frankie Dettori, the jockey, said.

Earlier, in a bad day in office for Godolphin, Delegator could only finished fourth in the Group 2 Victor Chandler Challenge Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket.

Billed as the favourite, he was not suited to the good soft ground and will now go for the TVG Breeders' Cup Mile at Churchill Downs, United States, on November 6.

"Delegator did not like the soft ground and he will now go for the Breeders' Cup Mile," Saeed bin Suroor, their trainer, said.

Shakespearean finished 13th, after going right when leaving the stalls. He was hustled along by Ted Durcan to race in second on the far-side group after a furlong and a half but could find no extra inside the final-quarter mile.

Godolphin's Poet's Voice, who was supplemented in the race at a cost of £30,000 (Dh176,158), laboured to ninth in the Group 1 Champion Stakes. "He raced too freely and had nothing left at the end of the race," Dettori said.

The race was won by Twice Over for the second successive year. Cecil said the five-year-old, who has earned nearly £1.9million (Dh11,160m) from his racing career, would now have a rest before having another tilt at next year's Dubai World Cup, the world's richest race.

Twice Over was 10th behind Gloria De Campeao at Meydan Racecourse in March.

To complete a underwhelming day for Godolphin, Abtasaamah finished 10th in the Rockwell Stakes. There was some success for the UAE when Cape Dollar, owned by Emirati Saeed Suhail, emerged on top in the Group 2 race.

"I would imagine she will be trained with the Guineas in mind. It's obviously up to Sir Michael, but I know Saeed would be very keen," Bruce Raymond, the racing manager, said.

* Agencies