IT IS occasions like last weekend’s Qipco Champions Day at Ascot that really capture the imagination of the nation.
Featuring the phenomenal Frankel in the highlight of the day, the meeting was one of the most hotly anticipated racedays of the year, as the nation waited with baited breath to see if the wonderhorse could end his career with a 100 per cent winning record, 14 stunning wins from 14 runs. It was a feat that, for many, would confirm that Frankel is indeed the best race horse that ever lived.
Weather conditions conspiried against Frankel, the four-year old English thoroughbred said to be facing one of his toughest tests French gelding Cirrus Des Aigles providing the biggest threat.
Thhe track looked to be challenging, with the going soft and heavy in places. Would it prove to be too much for Frankel? The answer on the day was absolutely not.
A slow start did nothing to hamper his performance, and Frankel’s irrepressible pace in the final straight saw him stride ahead of his 9/2 placed French rival with a furlong to go to win by two lengths, a classy performance that proved to the world that we have found equine perfection. So, with Frankel retired, the racing world is now in search of the next great horse. And closer to home at Doncaster we’re hoping to unearth some great competitors, as we look ahead to our Racing Post Trophy meeting this Friday and Saturday.
It’s shaping up to be a fantastic meeting, and we’ve something of an Irish raid on our hands, with eight of the 15 entries in the big race of the meeting, The Racing Post Trophy, making the journey from Ireland.
The race, over one mile, was won by Camelot last year, and is always a fixture that attracts a fiercely competitive line-up. The O’Brien camp will be hoping to claim victory again this year, with six of the eight Irish horses entered coming from Ballydoyle Stables. His horses will face tough competition though, with Mark Johnston-trained two-year-old Steeler, a winner in three of his five races, taking his place in the line-up. With Kieron Fallon aboard, he is sure to factor.
For more information about the Racing Post Trophy and other forthcoming racedays at Doncaster Racecourse, or to buy tickets, go to www.doncaster-racecourse.co.uk or call 01302 511 918.