Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Did Frankel Win the Epsom Derby?

Did Frankel win the Epsom Derby?

The simple answer is no. 

Sir Henry Cecil's colt went on to be unbeaten in 14 starts over three seasons from 2010 - 2012. 

In my opinion his greatest performance was seen in the 2000 Guineas, which took place at Newmarket's Rowley Mile. 

Cecil considered running Frankel in the Epsom Derby, probably knowing it would be the ultimate victory of an exceptional horse. He made the decision to stick to one mile with the exception of his final two starts when stepping up to 1m 2 1/2f when pulverising the opposition at York by seven lengths. 

His victory in the Juddmonte International Stakes (Group 1) as he was priced 1/10f. Race comments: ''Went clear one furlong out, impressive.''

Frankel concluded his racing career at Ascot when winning the Champion Stakes which is raced over 1m 2f. 

Perhaps one of the bravest decisions made by Sir Henry Cecil was not being tempted to run Frankel in the Epsom Derby and chancing whether he would have sufficient stamina to last 1m 4f. 

It would have been the colt's ultimate test. 

Would he have won the Epsom Derby? 

I wouldn't even like to answer that question because, in truth, I don't feel qualified or opinionated to do so. 

You have to consider that the decision to race or not in the Derby was taken long and hard and connections simply didn't want to take the chance of a loss. 

In hindsight, it was most probably the right decision. To finish his racing career unbeaten there is always the mystique of thinking what was possible. 

He did the impossible but he could have possibly done more. 

Perhaps he could well have won the Epsom Derby. 

We can only imagine.

Related story: Ducking the Epsom Derby no disgrace for 2,000 Guineas winner Frankel