Horse Racing - Farhh revels in Frankel’s absence

With Frankel no longer on the scene, Farhh proved to be in a class of his own in Saturday’s Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.

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Horse Racing - Farhh revels in Frankel’s absence
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Farhh ridden by Silvestre De Sousa wins The JLT Lockinge Stakes (PA)

Six, two and 12 were the key figures in Saturday’s big race: six was the number on the winning horse’s saddle cloth; two was the number of big-name absentees, namely Excelebration and Frankel, who occupied the first two places in last year’s race; and 12 was the number of runners, twice the size of the 2012 field.

It was Farhh who profited most from the absence of last year’s first- and second-placed horses, not least that of Frankel, who went unbeaten in his 14-race career. As if in tribute to his old rival, the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained horse produced a Frankel-like performance to reel in Reply in the final straight before breezing past Sovereign Debt and Aljamaaheer.

Farhh’s victory was also triumph for his Brazilian jockey Silvestre de Sousa, who remains unbeaten on the five-year-old, while his predecessor Frankie Dettori could never do better than second on the horse.

"He definitely deserved to get his head in front - he did it in great fashion and travelled so sweetly," said De Sousa.

"He got a bit lonely and I had to give him a slap behind the saddle, but he won very handily and will come on for the run."

Farhh's next outing will come at Ascot in June, in either the Queen Anne Stakes or Prince of Wales’s Stakes.

Meanwhile, Saturday’s win was the Godolphin trainer’s fifth in the race and provided the stable with a timely fillip following the doping scandal that has engulfed its celebrated former trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni.

Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said: "It's fantastic, particularly after all the problems we have had in the last few weeks. It's a major boost to the stable.

"We were slightly concerned about the trip today but he did it so well that maybe we will go to the Queen Anne. We'll see, we'll weigh up both races (the Queen Anne and Prince of Wales's Stakes), keep our options open and see what Sheikh Mohammed wants to do.

"He deserved it - he kept on finishing second to the best horse of all time (Frankel) last year, so to see him win a Group One was fantastic."

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