Is Frankel The Best Ever Racehorse?
It is a rare feet in the world of horse racing, for any horse in the modern era to make a dent on the illustrious history of the sport. Only the legendary Secretariat in the 1970’s was able to break up the fabled names of Seabiscuit, Man o’War and Citation who were all at their peak before 1950. This all changed almost a year ago.
On October 20th 2012, Frankel won the Champion Stakes. It was his 14th straight victory and with that he sealed his place as one of the greatest racehorses of all time and certainly the best this century.
The World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings rate the five year old colt as the best they have ever measured since they were introduced in 1977. Since 1900, only one horse has ever won more races than Frankel whilst remaining unbeaten and no British horse has ever won as many Group 1 races. In short, Frankel is the greatest British thoroughbred to ever race a track.
His list of major wins includes the 2,000 Gunieas, the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the Queen Anne Stakes and of course the Champion Stakes. Only the Derby is absent from that list for casual fans but if Frankel had the stamina that could effectively run over that distance, he would have been a huge favourite. He’s won over £3 million in prize money for his owner Khalid Abdullah and is ‘conservatively’ estimated to be worth £100 million in his new career as a stud.
The truth is though; there is not one single thing that makes Frankel a class above all other racehorses. Like many thoroughbreds he was sired by a former champion racer, Galileo. Like many thoroughbreds he was trained by the legendary trainer, Sir Henry Cecil. And like many thoroughbreds he was under the care of a great jockey, Tom Queally. But a lot of horses down the years have had these great combinations of genes, trainers and jockeys guiding them and only Frankel has become extraordinarily exceptional.
So what makes him special? His style for one thing is beautiful to watch. He travels so sweetly under foot which blows away the opposition no matter who they are. He is also magnificent specimen with a regal outlook in everything he does, from walking to galloping. What maybe sets Frankel apart is his stride length and competiveness. Almost a ft longer than most racehorses at 22ft, Frankel is able cover more ground at a faster rate than almost every horse that has existed giving him a crucial advantage. Add to that his extra competiveness - that even in the animal world is just as important as the human world – and you have a lightning fast juggernaut that wouldn’t let anyone pass him.
Frankel has performed wonders on the British scene and while some might say he needed to move to America to truly become the greatest of all time, his exploits still rank him among the top 10 in history at minimum. The question is, now with his luxurious career as a stud well under way – with a fertility rate of 95% no less – could a new generation of history making thoroughbreds be on the way in the next decade?