Henry Cecil’s Frankel produced a barely believable performance as he made every yard of the running in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket under Tom Queally.
An unbeaten juvenile campaign and a ready comeback victory in Newbury’s Greenham Stakes led to the son of Galileo being sent off at 1-2 for the season’s first Classic.
Rerouted was due to be deployed in a pacemaking role, but he just could not keep up as Frankel quickly opened up a huge advantage over the rest of the field.
He was miles clear at the halfway stage and it seemed he would not be able to maintain such a ferocious gallop.
But the rest could not get near him and he passed the post with a stunning six lengths in hand.
Dubawi Gold filled the runner-up spot, with Native Khan a further half-length away in third.
It was a third 2000 Guineas triumph for Cecil following the successes of Bolkonski (1975) and Wollow (1976).
Cecil said: “That was lovely wasn’t it?
“I think I might have actually got the plan wrong as I thought I’d try and kill them all if they went with his gallop, but in the last furlong he was looking for all the other horses. He was waiting for them.
“It is a relief. It has gone right and he’s a very, very good horse.
“It’s difficult to compare years and different champions, but he must be up with them.
“He settled very well, but he’d won his race and was wondering where everything else was and was waiting for them a bit, but we thought there was something left in the tank.”
Frankel is favourite for the Investec Derby, and while the legendary trainer was non-committal on future plans, he did raise the intriguing possibility of his superstar turning out on Thursday week in the 10-furlong Dante Stakes at York.
“We’ll sit and think and I’ll discuss it with the Prince (Khalid Abdullah, owner). We’ll work it out together,” Cecil said.
“He is in the Dante, so we’ll see how he comes out of this and what we want to do. Whether he’ll get a mile and a half is another matter.
“If he’s more of a miler, there is the St James’s Palace Stakes, so we’ll leave all options open.
“If he’s very well and he ran in the Dante, then we’d know where we’re going. I could easily bring him back a couple of furlongs at Ascot.
“We’ll leave it all open and it will entirely depend on how the horse is and we’ll see what the Prince wants to do. We want to do the right thing.”
Queally said: “He was just so much better today than at Newbury. He’s made a show of them.
“The one thing this horse does is gallop – I didn’t want to disappoint him, I wanted him to do what he enjoys and he showed them.
“The first thing you think is what speed are we going, because to him it feels like a cruising canter. He quickened up and went away.
“To win a Classic is special and I’m glad for the horse he did it like that.
“He feels like he is doing more than he actually is. I spoke to Shane (Featherstonehaugh) and he said he had improved a fair bit. Shane does a mighty job with him. I had a lot of confidence and he just bumped that up a bit.
“I had a peep (at halfway), I was delighted then as you have leeway and can have a breather. You can do things. I was in full control of what I wanted to do.
“The last furlong he was just idling, he needed help but there was nothing to help him. I’ve never sat on anything like him.
“There’s no words to describe what he did.”
Dubawi Gold’s trainer Richard Hannon said: “It was a good race, but I don’t particularly want to run against Frankel again. I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t go for the Irish 2000 Guineas now.
“The other fella (Frankel) might not go for that and I don’t want to go where he goes. There’s also the Jersey Stakes.”
Ed Dunlop is considering the Epsom or French Derby for third home Native Khan.
Phil Cunningham, owner of fourth-placed Slim Shadey, who was a 200-1 chance, said: “I’m ecstatic – he’s run a cracker. I haven’t spoken to Stan (Moore) but a race I’ve always had in my mind is the Tercentenary Stakes (former Hampton Court) at Royal Ascot over a mile and two furlongs.”