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Frankel retires unbeaten

Frankel reiterated his claim to be the greatest racehorse of all time by winning his final race and retiring to stud unbeaten. Frankel did not cruise to victory in the Champion Stakes at Ascot as impressively as the colt usually manages, winning by a relatively modest two lengths ahead of the French challenger Cirrus Des Aigles, but a sellout crowd of 32,000 knew they were witnessing history.

There had been doubts about the heavy ground beforehand, with the possibility that Frankel might not race, or would not act on the ground. Those who had taken the 2-11 odds before the race would have been even more nervous when Frankel was last out of the starting gate, looking very casual.

By the final bend Frankel was lying fourth but began to assert his class. Jockey Tom Queally took Frankel wide and came past Cirrus Des Aigles in the final furlong. Frankel did not lengthen his lead but also never looked likely to surrender the advantage. It was an efficient and unspectacular close to an astonishing racing career.

"He's getting more and more relaxed as time goes on," Queally said. "His class really showed today. I walked the track and was worried about the conditions, but I walked the final straight and knew it wasn't too heavy."

Trainer Henry Cecil said: "He didn't like the ground much but he was very relaxed. He's the best I've ever had. He's the best I've ever seen. I'd be surprised if there's ever been any better."

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