Frankel wins Juddmonte International at York Ebor Festival 2012 by seven lengths

Relive the magical moment Frankel swept past top-flight rivals Farhh, St Nicholas Abbey and Twice Over to win the 2012 Juddmonte International in York by seven lengths.

No horse has ever won the main race of the Sky Bet Ebor Festival like Sir Henry Cecil’s colt racing television Footage (scroll the video back to top) – while below we also have the report courtesy of Timeform.

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Timeform Report – 2012 Juddmonte International Stakes

There was a dip in quality at the 2011 Juddmonte International but overall this is one of Britain’s premier Group 1 races with an impressive honors list; This was a much-anticipated renewal like any other due solely to Frankel’s presence as he went past 1m for the first time and he delivered as expected and delivered another of his all-time greatest performances as he blew a field that included 3 other individual winners at this level; There were a few potential pacesetters but it was Windsor Palace who took them at a strong pace, the main rivals made their moves after 4f and it was a good test and fair race all round.

FRANKEL is of such quality that it is difficult to express, every superlative is worth using, quite simply a class and as close to perfection as any racehorse has ever been or will be, unbeaten in 13 races now, and if all was yet to be proven, then that recent success in Group 1 certainly proves it (his ninth overall) and added that new dimension to his tally as he made the step up the journey easily, just as effectively as he had at shorter times was hammering Farhh and new opponent St Nicholas Abbey (both close to their best) and produced an exceptional rating of over 140 for sheer form for a remarkable fourth time in his career; As always, Frankel took the heats with aplomb, very relaxed both in the paddock and at the post, and in the race itself it looked almost as easy for him, no doubt having the longer journey in mind as he rode it as patiently as possible He’s been doing it since his 2-year-old days, cruising backwards before moving quickly towards the standing rail via 3f outside, swinging along as he picked up the race around 2f outside before unleashing his usual outburst around himself to approach the 1f pole, With just a crack on the whip and ridden under hands and heels, Worth the win if any further; There was talk of a tilt at the arc afterwards, and while the Champion Stakes is the more likely option given it’s been planned for a long time, it’s still worth noting that based on this evidence, the even longer journey wouldn’t be an issue.

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FARHH should have his day soon at this level, now a fully tested Group 1 performer and there was no disgrace at all for his well-beaten seconds after Frankel on both starts since he was close to Nathaniel in the Eclipse; Midfield, traveled well, challenged 3f, failed to match winner but held on well to task and showed good attitude to defeat St Nicholas Abbey in photo runner-up; He’s entered in the Champion Stakes but should Frankel go there as expected then he doesn’t stand a chance with him and perhaps going back to 1m for the QE II is a better option.

ABBEY OF ST. NICHOLAS (IRISH) is very consistent in these top races and hasn’t been far below his best, not in the same league as Frankel but as good as one could expect among the others, closely followed by Farhh and only beaten by a nod from this rival ; He raced in midfield and traveled smoothly, made good progress past 3f with most pursuers, was quickly put in his place by the winner but stuck to his task; He will enter the Irish Champion Stakes next month and will likely have strong claims as he does in the majority of middle distance Group 1s.

TWICE was not disgraced, found this essentially too competitive in a much tougher renewal than the one he won 12 months ago; behind, forward mid-range via 3f outwards, soon after pushed forward and proved one’s every turn; The very best days seem to be behind him and he will probably find it difficult to add to his Group 1 victories now.

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EXPRESS TRAIN Didn’t quite have the same task as usual as the Ballydoyle pair were pacemakers and running as well as ever, just not up to the task in terms of form but it’s a testament to his always being in lesser pattern races will still be competitive if given the chance; tracked pace, went past 2f, held as best he could.

Sri Putra has a patchy record overall but won when he fell in class on his previous start here and found this just too competitive as much as anything else; held, pushed outwards over 3f, weakened outwards over 2f.

PLANTER (IRE) better judged on previous form and should bounce back soon; sped wide off the pace, struggling past 3f, soon after was severely hampered by the ailing Windsor Palace and tamely folding towards the final 1f as if something was wrong.

ROBIN HOOD (IRE) hasn’t walked under her own power lately, as a pacemaker again.

WINDSOR PALACE (IRE) fly too high at this level; Close-up, tamely folded by 3f, eased.

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