JC / Railbird

Ascot Sensation

Frankel could be a superstar. “A lashing, slashing hunk of horse, he looks the part and acts it too,” gushed Steve Dennis of the Henry Cecil-trained colt who’s done everything right in his three starts, picking up fans with every easy win. Watch him open up 10 lengths on his four rivals in the Royal Lodge Stakes at Ascot on Saturday (the segment begins at :38 seconds):

The Royal Lodge was a Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In race for the Juvenile Turf, but Cecil won’t be shipping the colt to Churchill Downs. The trainer plans one more race this fall, at Newmarket or Doncaster in mid-October, then a break until spring. “I’d rather finish his season in the earlier race, the Dewhurst, but if he tells us he needs more time after today, then he’ll get it.”

Bettors responded to yesterday’s win by making Frankel the 2-1 early favorite for the 2011 2000 Guineas, 4-1 for the Epsom Derby. Cecil, agreeing the juvenile is “exciting,” tempered enthusiasm by expressing doubts about Frankel’s potential stamina:

“It’s difficult to say whether he could get a mile and a half. There’s no guarantee that he would. The dam was a six-furlong filly, and the dam is important in a horse’s pedigree. If he did stay a mile and a half, he would be something out of the ordinary,” he said.

Oh, to have to worry whether a horse can get 12 furlongs; it is a different game across the Atlantic. But is it a different breed? That’s the provocative question Scott Giles poses over on the Blood-Horse MarketWatch blog.

9/27/10 Addendum: Chris McGrath on Frankel. “A saviour is constantly sought, constantly imagined, but seldom arrives in the manner expected. And that will never be as true as when you depend on the random agency of horses. Take the emergence of this coruscating animal, Frankel. The ‘narrative’ could scarcely be richer, or more satisfying.”

Frankel wasn’t the only buzz baby to run this weekend. In the Fillies’ Mile at Ascot, White Moonstone kept her record perfect with a win over Together and Theyskens’ Theory. Both ‘Moonstone and ‘Theory are unlikely for the Breeders’ Cup. At Monmouth on Saturday, Curlinello, Astrology, and Tiz Blessed finished 2-3-4 to Sweet Ducky in the Garden State.