St. James's Palace Stakes - Grand Prix Boss no match for fiery Frankel
Grand Prix Boss
Frankel (1st from left), Grand Prix Boss (2nd from right)
Just in case there was any lingering doubt as to the sheer strength and ability of trainer Sir Henry Cecil's stable star Frankel, the whirlwind that hit Ascot's home straight in the St. James's Palace Stakes around mid-afternoon yesterday, June 14, will surely turn any doubters into true believers.Admittedly the 3-year-old Galileo colt became a touch lazy after setting sail for home, but he held off the late challenge of Zoffany (Aidan O'Brien) by 3/4 of a length, with Excelebration a further 1 1/2 lengths back in third.The Newmarket handler had warned that Frankel was stronger than in his previous runs, and that he had slightly different tactics in mind this time around.
Over the Old Mile course at Ascot, on ground officially good to soft, Khalid Abdulla's other runner, Rerouted, broke first from the stalls and set a blistering gallop.Japan's Grand Prix Boss also broke well and jockey Mirco Demuro had the horse nicely settled in second in the early stages of the race.Frankel at this point raced in fourth, but looked all over as if he could go at any time given the green light.Shortly after, sure enough jockey Tom Queally set the heavy odds on favourite alight and there wasn't much any of the other runners could do about it.Turning for home, Grand Prix Boss was still holding up well in about fourth place, but from then on found it very hard to go the pace and faded while others came with their challenges.Nothing really looked like getting to Frankel, but as the winning post came in time, it was Zoffany who exploded out of the pack to give the winner the most to worry about should their paths cross again.Excelebration in third got closer to Frankel than in the Greenham Stakes, while Neebras was a head back in fourth, and Dream Ahead a further 3 1/4 lengths back in fifth.Grand Prix Boss eventually finished eighth of the nine runners, with early pacesetter Rerouted finishing last.
Immediately after the race, trainer Yoshito Yahagi commented:"It was difficult for us today.The horse seemed relaxed and put up a fight.He ran his race, but it just wasn't our day."
The day certainly belonged to Frankel, and he has now extended his winning streak to seven.He could now go for the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood this summer where he could take on the older generation.Frankel is owned by Khalid Abdulla and bred by Juddmonte Farms Ltd.The winning time was 1 minute 39.24 seconds.
Connections of Grand Prix Boss have lost nothing in defeat, and for sure this talented colt will bounce back when the opposition is not so formidable.
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