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'He went at a Group 1 sprinter's pace for the first five furlongs' TOPSPEED VERDICT.

supported by an excellent overall time. But delve deeper, examine the spilt times and only then does the true merit of Frankel's sensational performance become apparent, writes Dave Edwards.

Faced with a stiff headwind he was never likely to establish any new benchmark times and taken at face value his winning time of 1m 37.30sec was over three seconds slower than the track record and 1.8sec outside Racing Post standard.

But once factoring in the allimportant going allowance, his performance warranted a Topspeed 132, topping the previous race best 129 posted by King's Best in 2000.

When analysing the sectionals the usual caveats about hand times, points of reference and margin of error apply. From a standing start he covered the first furlong in 13.5sec, the second in 11.5, third in 11.0, fourth in 11.0 and the fifth in 11.5 which cumulatively means he covered the first five furlongs in an astonishing 58.50sec.

In effect he went at a Group 1 sprinter's pace for five furlongs and, when clocking the consecutive 11-second splits, he was averaging 20yds - almost the length of a cricket pitch - a second.

Understandably he slowed in the closing stages with the final three furlongs taking 12.5, 13 and 13.5sec respectively but considering the headwind and that he had no company to make him go even faster it was a staggering display of raw speed and power.

Frankel went through the first five furlongs in around 58.50sec - over a second quicker than the time Tangerine Trees clocked in the Palace House, admittedly not over the same section of the track - and then maintained a relentless gallop for a further three furlongs.

Looked at another way, Newmarket's five-furlong track record established in 1994 by Lochsong is 56.81sec but factor in the going allowance from that day and the six-year-old's 'adjusted' time becomes 58.61sec. Apply similar logic to Frankel and his adjusted time for the opening five furlongs on Saturday equates to 56.3sec.

Admittedly there are a few ifs and buts involved, but the comparison further illustrates just what an electrifying performance Frankel put up.

**SECTIONAL timings will not be used before British Champions Day at Ascot in October but remain key to the future presentation of the Qipco British Champions Series, event organisers said yesterday.

Provision was originally made for horses to carry speed sensing equipment in both the 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas when the race conditions were published in March, but were then removed from the conditions before the Classics because the technology had not been fully tested.

British Champions Series operations and events director James Oldring said: "Sectional timing won't be up and running before British Champions Day because everything needs to be trialled first. Negotiations have started in the hope we can use it more in 2012."


Frankel: sensational performance
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 2, 2011
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