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Jockey savours penultimate Frankel outing on Knavesmire
11:40am Tuesday 21st August 2012 in Horse racing
JOCKEY Tom Queally says he is already beginning to miss Frankel as he considers life without the highest rated racehorse in the world.
The unbeaten equine king will tackle the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes at York tomorrow on the first day of the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival , in what is expected to be his penultimate racecourse appearance.
The Sir Henry Cecil-trained wonder colt has been partnered by Queally in every one of his 12 victories to date and the thought of his impending retirement has left the rider feeling at a loss.
“It’s funny because he hasn’t even gone yet but I’m already starting to miss him,” he said.
“From here on in I’ll never sit on anything like him again. Obviously I’ll get to ride nice horses in the future but when I’ve been so fortunate to have a horse like him in my career, it doesn’t really get better.
“It’s bad to say it but it’s a little depressing to think about it only getting worse – he truly is the horse of a lifetime. I’ve been very lucky.
“It’ll certainly be a very special moment if he can win the Juddmonte. With the race being sponsored by Prince Khalid Abdullah (Frankel’s owner), it would be another one of those magical moments you enjoy looking back on.
“We know he’s the best horse we’ve ever seen. The owner, trainer, jockey – we all love him and he’s provided a massive buzz for a huge amount of people.
“He’s an absolute dream to ride, he settles beautifully now. He did used to race keenly in his early days but he’s grown up a lot. He really enjoys his racing, he’s got unbelievable speed and he can take other horses out of their comfort zone with ease.”
While this year’s renewal of the Juddmonte isn’t likely to provide the strongest opposition the son of Galileo has faced, it will pose a different kind of problem as Frankel attempts an extended ten furlongs for the first time.
But Queally isn’t concerned at the extra stamina test his wonder horse will face.
He added: “You have to go into the race with a certain amount of confidence. He is the highest rated horse in the world and he’s won so many top races. I cannot see the step up in trip being any real concern.
“Obviously he’s done all of his winning over a mile and shorter but he has a great turn of foot, and one thing he does have is a lot of class. It’s very difficult to beat pure class. St Nicholas Abbey is a very smart animal, as are the others and we will treat them with respect, but he can go with any horse.”
Sir Henry Cecil’s retained rider is excited about riding at a track which has provided him with a lot of success over the years and can’t wait for the one of the highlights of the racing year to get under way on Knavesmire.
“It’s always been one of my favourite places to ride,” he added.
“When I first came over from Ireland, riding winners at York was what kick started my career. They’re always a very friendly and welcoming crowd. The Ebor meeting always has a brilliant atmosphere about it. I always encourage family and friends to come over from Ireland because it is such a fantastic week.”