BC Battle Tested

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Derek Simon

October 19th, 2012

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For more data like this, be sure to check out my 2012 Breeders' Cup Betting Guide. In addition to all kinds of unique stats and insightful articles, the Guide also contains past performances — with my pace figures and Win Factor Report fair odds for all the likely BC entrants.

Frankel’s Swan Song

By all accounts, Frankel’s race in the Champion Stakes at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday will be the final one of his brilliant career. To many, the horse named after reality TV star Bethenny Frankel — or was it Bethenny’s dad, the legendary trainer Bobby Frankel? — is the greatest thoroughbred of all time.

“We could be looking at the best horse that ever lived,” said Nick Godfrey of the Racing Post. “I’ve never seen a horse do what he did.”

Still, the Champion could be Frankel’s sternest test yet, as he faces the battle hardened Cirrus Des Aigles, who won the event last year. Even though he’s now six years old, Cirrus Des Aigle has been very impressive this year and his trainer, Corine Barande-Barbe, believes he may still be improving.

“Every race he has run in, he always seems to take one step up and he always seems to look his best when he tries something new,” she said. “Last year he wasn't even a Group One winner before the Champion Stakes. He won and he showed that the better the field, the better he is.

“Maybe he's still improving,” Barande-Barbe continued. “On Saturday, it could be the best in the world over a mile to middle distances against the best over 10 furlongs to a mile and a half.

“Whatever happens, it will be a great experience and we will enjoy it,” the veteran conditioner concluded. “If he wins, I will be pleased, but I won't be surprised… I'm not scared of Frankel.”

Nor am I. Given the odds, I think “Cirrus” might be a reasonable alternative to the favorite, who is sure to have additional money rained down upon him due to the fact that the Champion is his final race.

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