Lucky 13 for Frankel?
The world’s best racehorse, Frankel, goes for his thirteen consecutive victory on Wednesday 22 August in the Juddmonte International at York Racecourse, part of the QIPCO British Champions Series. Will it be lucky 13 for the undefeated champion? He will be racing over a mile and a quarter – the first time he has been tried over a distance of more than one mile.
13 KEY FACTS ABOUT FRANKEL
- The first of his 12 victories in a row was on Friday 13th – in August 2010.
- His trainer Sir Henry Cecil is superstitious – he salutes single magpies, flies the family flag every time he has a Group 1 winner and used to fill up with petrol every time he went to the races.
- His four white feet defy the old horse dealers’ proverb which advises ‘four white feet, go home without him’.
- His star sign is Aquarius – born on 11 February. According to websites, Aquarians are ‘trailblazers’ who don’t follow the crowd.
- He’s brought only bad luck to bookmakers having started favourite in all 12 of his races. In the last eleven Frankel has started at odds-on.
- Half a length is the nearest any other horse has got near him in his 12 winning races – whilst his greatest winning distance has been 13 lengths.
- Frankel has won from stall 3 on five occasions. Will he draw his lucky starting stall in the Juddmonte International at York?
- The International has been a hoodoo race for odds-on favourites, with 11 of the 17 odds-on shots getting turned-over. Frankel is certain to start as odds-on favourite.
- The inaugural running of the race in 1972 saw the un-beaten champion Brigadier Gerard beaten by the Derby winner, Roberto. His only defeat in a career of eighteen races.
- Tom Queally, his regular jockey, rode his first winner on 13th April 2000.
- Frankel’s the most valuable horse on the planet, estimated to be worth £100 million once he retires to stud. Owners of the lucky brood mares he’ll cover can expect to pay £100,000 a time.
- Frankel’s owner, Prince Khalid Abdullah, has sponsored the Juddmonte International since 1989 but it’s not been a lucky race for him, having won it only once despite runners on twelve occasions. However, his luck might have changed as he won it last year.
- Frankel’s awesome reputation tends to scare off the opposition. In the second race of his career, he faced just two other runners and the average number of runners in his race has been seven. The largest field was for the 2011 QIPCO 2000 Guineas when 13 horses went to post.
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