It's not often that a 1/2 favorite in a top-level race can dazzle fans and players, but that's exactly what Frankel (GB) did today in the Group 1 2000 Guineas at Newmarket Racecourse in England this afternoon. (Result chart via Racing Post) Breaking sharp and alert from the gate, the undefeated Henry Cecil trainee quickly assumed command of the thirteen-horse field and built the kind of lead you just don't see in races of this caliber, at least from a winning horse. By the time the Guineas field has reached the half-way point, Frankel had opened up by approximately ten lengths. From that point on it wasn't a question of whether or not Frankel would win, it was by how many lengths. Tom Queally gave Frankel a bit of encouragement with just over a furlong to go and when they hit the final post he was six lengths clear of runner-up Dubawi Gold (GB). Native Kahn (FR) rounded out the top three while the second choice, undefeated Pathfork, finished a well-beaten 7th.
While we never truly know the full strength of a three-year-old until they begin to take on older horses later in the year, it's difficult to find holes in the armor of Frankel following this performance. Even if the rest of the field goes on to do nothing over the rest of the year (possible, but doubtful), this was still a massive run. The race was essentially over within two or three furlongs of leaving the gate when Frankel told the rest of the field to "come and get me". In the end, Frankel's performance was the picture-perfect definition of "dominating".
Should Frankel continue to race at or near a mile for the remainder of the year, is anybody salivating at a possible match-up with Goldikova (FR) later on in the year, perhaps in France on Arc day?
I'll have more on the Guineas Festival, including a re-cap of my entire weekend at Newmarket, a bit later on.
Below is a video of this fantastic effort by Frankel (via RacingUK.com):