Frankel wins Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot to remain unbeaten

Unbeaten Frankel cruised to his ninth successive victory as he landed the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on the inaugural Champions Day at Ascot.

The three-year-old colt, trained by Sir Henry Cecil and ridden by Tom Queally, was a comfortable winner on the country's richest ever raceday.

Frankel took up the running from pacemaker Bullet Train approaching the final furlong.

And he sauntered clear to win by four lengths from Excelebration.

Immortal Verse was a further three and a half lengths back in third.

Frankel's Sublime Nine

  • Ascot, October 2011 - won by 4 lengths
  • Goodwood, July 2011 - won by 5 lengths
  • Ascot, June 2011 - won by ¾ length
  • Newmarket, April 2011 - won by 6 lengths
  • Newbury, April 2011 - won by 4 lengths
  • Newmarket, Oct 2010 - won by 2½ lengths
  • Ascot, Sep 2010 - won by 10 lengths
  • Doncaster, Sep 2010 - won by 13 lengths
  • Newmarket, August 2010 - won by ½ length

In the day's other big race, French horse Cirrus Des Aigles upset the odds to beat hot favourite So You Think by three-quarters of a length in the Champion Stakes .

However, winning jockey Christophe Soumillon was later penalised for breaching the new whip rules and fined his prize money of about £50,000, the biggest jockey purse in British racing.

Frankel had won all eight of his previous runs, over seven furlongs and a mile, and never looked in danger of losing the QEII, worth £1m, once he stalked his stablemate Bullet Train.

"He's a horse in a lifetime," Queally told BBC Sport.

"He's more professional with age, the real deal.

"I let him go when he allowed me too. I always enjoy winners but this one is extra special.

"Who knows what happens next year? I'm enjoying it for the moment - everyone is. I don't think I will ever ride a horse like this again."

Cecil added: "He was lovely and relaxed today. Now I'm looking forward to getting the winter over with and to next season when I think he'll be suited to a mile and a quarter."

It was Frankel's fifth Group One win of his career, and his fourth of the season, after victories in the 2,000 Guineas, St James's Palace Stakes and Sussex Stakes.

Frankel's owner, Saudi Prince Khalid Abdullah, said: "Many think he's the best they've seen, so I am lucky to have that horse."

It looked as though Frankel's increasing legend would give the sport a lift after a week dominated by headlines about controversial new whip rules and a potential strike by jockeys .

But Soumillon's transgression threatened to overshadow even Frankel's performance.

His mount Cirrus Des Aigles, a 12-1 shot, came up on the shoulder of So You Think and made his move in the final 100 yards to win.

NEW WHIP RULES

  • Maximum seven strokes in flat races and eight over jumps
  • Only five times after last obstacle or in final furlong
  • Riding fees and prize money forfeited when whip ban of three days or more
  • BHA to review licences of repeat offenders

The Belgian rider used his whip one more time than the maximum five strikes allowed in the final furlong. On learning of his penalty he said: "I'm very embarrassed for English racing today."

Earlier, Gold Cup winner Fame and Glory returned to winning form at Ascot as he claimed the opening Long Distance Cup .

The five-year-old, trained by Aidan O'Brien, was sent out in front by Jamie Spencer in a well-judged ride and the 3-1 second favourite had the stamina to see off closing rivals Opinion Poll and Colour Vision.

Another Royal Ascot winner Deacon Blues enjoyed further success at the Berkshire track when scoring in the British Champions Sprint Stakes .

The 5-2 favourite, under Johnny Murtagh for James Fanshawe, saw off Wizz Kid by a length and a half to secure his fifth successive victory.

Murtagh doubled up in the Fillies and Mares Stakes on long-time leader Dancing Rain.

The filly won by two lengths to add to successes in the Epsom and German Oaks this season for trainer William Haggas.

Cirrus Des Aigles wins Champion Stakes (UK users only)