During the pre-race build-up the Group 1 Sussex Stakes clash between Frankel (GB) and Canford Cliffs (IRE) at Glorious Goodwood was billed the "Duel on the Downs". Instead it was the "Blowout on the Downs". Frankel, still unbeaten and untested, destroyed the Sussex Stakes field and stamped himself as the best miler in the world and possibly the best horse in the world.
(Timeform has come out with their rating for Frankel following his win in the Sussex - an incredible 142. The only horses to post a higher Timeform rating than Frankel are Sea-Bird (145), Brigadier Gerard (144) and Tudor Minstrel (144).)
Frankel broke quickly from the gate and gained an early command by a couple lengths for the first few furlongs. Canford Cliffs sat second early, tracking Frankel all the way to the 1/2 mile mark, but when the leader hit the final two furlongs the race quickly turned into a rout as Frankel coasted to the wire under a hand ride by jockey Tom Queally. The final margin was
The field for the Sussex ended up on the small side (four horses), which allowed the versatile Frankel to dominate from the moment the starting gate opened; that was certainly an advantage for the Henry Cecil trainee. Additionally, Goodwood appeared to be playing well to speed today as the first two races saw horses on the frontend prevail. But on the other hand, it's a testament to Frankel's class that he's able to adjust his running style and still turn in a top-notch performance. In the Guineas and in the Sussex, he used his natural speed to run his rivals into submission. In other races, he's sat back in the early stages and made moves in the middle and latter parts of the race.
The final margin of victory for Frankel was an easy five lengths.
Frankel's biggest asset continues to be his ability to idle at a high rate of speed in the early and middle stages without much encouragement from his ridder. In today's Sussex Stakes, as he did in the Guineas, Frankel was traveling so smoothly and so fast that his other rivals eventually had to try and make a move on him. In many ways, Frankel is similar to powerful sprinters we see in North America, horses that use their speed to simply run their rivals into the ground, giving them no chance to make a run.
I'll post the replay of the Sussex as soon as it's posted for those that haven't seen the race. (The video replay is at the bottom of this post.) If you haven't seen it yet, the part of the race where you knew it was over was when Richard Hughes, the jockey of Canford Cliffs, pulled out his whip inside the two furlong marker while Queally was still dead-still on Frankel. Hughes knew two things at that point: 1) Frankel wasn't going to come back to him, regardless of how fast he was going early, and 2) he better get Canford Cliffs moving towards the front to have any shot at the victory.