Frankel received a stern test from the French Cirrus Des Aigles, an excellent soft ground horse, but remains undefeated after winning the Group 1 2012 British Champions Stakes at Ascot.
The ground may have not been his ideal footing. The pace and trip may have been a bit quirky due to some strange decisions by the pacemaker in the early stages. And his margin of victory may have been smaller than we've witnessed in prior efforts. But make no mistake - Frankel (GB) was clearly the best in the 2012 Group 1 British Champions Stakes.
The race started poorly for Frankel as he broke slowly from the gate and found himself a stride or two behind the pack in the opening stages. Tom Queally hustled him up to the rear of the main pack, but the poor break seemed to confuse the rider of Bullet Train, Frankel's pacemaker. Not knowing what to do, Bullet Train ceded the lead to Cirrus Des Aigles (FR) for a furlong or two until pushing the issue around the midway point.
Frankel raced in the clear near the rear of the field and made steady progress as the field rounded the final bend, tracking the French raider's every move. Inside the final quarter mile, as he has in all of his prior races, Frankel moved towards the lead under minimal urging, while the mount on Cirrus Des Aigles asked his horse for all he had. Tom Queally finally released the parking break inside the final furlong with Frankel drawing off to win by nearly two lengths at the wire in front of an adoring crowd at Ascot on British Champions Day.
Following the race, Frankel's retirement was confirmed.
BBC reporting that it has been confirmed by his owner that Frankel has run his final race and will be retired undefeated— Racing Post (@Racing_Post) October 20, 2012
Thank you, Frankel. It's been a joy to watch your greatness.