Timeform: Frankel has a stone in hand
Frankel is set to face a fresh challenge when he lines up in the QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot on Saturday, but he still has 14lb and more in hand of his rivals according to ratings experts Timeform as he attempts to land consecutive win number 14.
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Rated 147 after his 11-length romp in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot, the highest figure ever afforded to a horse in Timeform's history, Frankel will face a new rival on Saturday when he takes on last year's Champion Stakes winner Cirrus des Aigles.
The French-trained gelding has a Timeform master figure of 133 and arrives on the back of an impressive win in the Group 2 Prix Dollar at Longchamp.
However, that rating leaves Cirrus des Aigles a stone shy of Frankel and his backers are seemingly pinning their hopes on Frankel being to some extent blunted by the ground, which is currently described as soft, but it's worth remembering that Frankel beat Nathaniel in a Newmarket maiden on his debut under testing conditions.
Timeform's Chief Correspondent Jamie Lynch said: "Frankel has faced 133-rated horses previously, but only once has one ran to that sort of figure in direct competition against him, namely Excelebration in the QEII on Champions Day last year, which was Frankel's smallest winning margin (four lengths) since Royal Ascot 2011.
"The suspicion is that reigning Champion Stakes winner Cirrus des Aigles may have an even bigger performance in him on soft ground, in which case Frankel would need to be at his phenomenal best if he's to win in the manner we've become accustomed to."
The aforementioned Nathaniel is third best on Timeform ratings and he has a good record at the Berkshire track (won last year's King George and narrowly beaten by Danedream in the latest renewal), but consistent and likeable as he is, he faces a stiff task if the front two in the market are on their game.
German Derby winner Pastorius is an interesting contender, having improved massively this year and finished third behind Danedream in the Grosser Preis von Baden prior to landing the odds in a Group 3 in his homeland, but even with the ground in his favour he looks to have plenty on his plate.
Saturday's race is widely expected to be Frankel's last and everyone will have their fingers crossed that he can keep his unbeaten record intact, but whatever happens Frankel's place in history is secured thanks to the massive 147 rating he recorded earlier this year.
Lynch added: "For Timeform, Frankel is the new benchmark for brilliance, and every other great thoroughbred that emerges in future will be measured against him - that's Frankel's momentous legacy as far as Timeform is concerned."
Champion Stakes (all ratings weight-adjusted)
158 Frankel, 144 Cirrus Des Aigles, 140 Nathaniel, 137 Ridasiyna, 135 Pastorious, 132 Master Of Hounds, 127p Declaration Of War, 126 Bullet Train
Is Frankel the greatest? Watch Racing UK's studio debate with Brough Scott, Lydia Hislop, Steve Mellish and Dominic Gardiner-Hill from 1730 BST on Wednesday