The inaugural member of Dork Sport’s Hall of Fame is not a sportsman or sportswoman, but quite likely the greatest racehorse ever. He is an equine superstar. Named after legendary U.S. trainer Bobby Frankel, British thoroughbred racehorse Frankel was foaled on February 11, 2008. He was trained superbly by the late Sir Henry Cecil for owner and breeder Prince Khalid Abdullah. In his fourteen-race career he remained unbeaten. The manner of his victories and the quality of opposition he defeated, earned him the distinction as the highest-rated racehorse in the world from May 2011.
Frankel as a Two Year Old
Frankel’s four victories as a two year old indicated that he had the potential for greatness. On his debut as a two year old he won a maiden race in workmanlike fashion followed by a facile victory in a three horse race at Doncaster. He stepped up on those efforts by destroying the opposition in The Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes at Ascot by ten lengths before landing the Dewhurst Stakes to seal his reputation. Yet, even those who watched Frankel’s early races could not have imagined that he would become the greatest racehorse of all time.
2000 Guineas, Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood.
Among Frankel’s five victories as a three year old was the Classic 2000 Guineas in which he led from pillar to post. His opposition were strung out like washing in a performance described as “brilliant, extraordinary” and “unprecedented” by the racecourse commentator. John Osborne from The Irish National Stud who was present that day said that he believed that there had been a stalls malfunction because he did not think it was possible for a horse to win so easily. Frankel also defeated the older miler Canford Cliffs in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood. In the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot in October 2011 he earned a rating of 143 by Timeform the ratings experts.This was the highest mark awarded in the organization in over forty years. It was the fourth highest of all time behind racing legends Sea Bird, Brigadier Gerard and Tudor Minstrel.
The Greatest Racehorse
Timeform raised its provisional rating again to 147 in June 2012. This followed Frankel’s victory in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. He was now the highest-rated horse in its history. He moved up to a mile and a quarter for the first time and secured further victory at the International Stakes held at York in August of that year. In October 2012 Frankel won the Champion Stakes at Ascot, again at a mile and a quarter. Following this, his retirement was announced. In January 2013 Timeform announced that at the end of his racing career Frankel’s final rating was 147. Timeform’s Jamie Lynch has since said that “he is the new benchmark by which all other horses before and since will be measured against”.
Frankel’s Stud Career
Since Frankel’s retirement he has stood at stud where he commands a fee of £125,000 as he tries to sire future thoroughbred racehorse champions. The first of Frankel’s offspring are due to make their first appearances on a racecourse during the 2016 flat racing season. Racegoers wait in breathless anticipation to see if any of them can come close to the exploits of the all-time greatest racehorse.