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22 July 2024

Frankel officially rated the best ever


Frankel was on Tuesday officially ranked the greatest ever flat horse in the world when the 2012 World Thoroughbred Rankings were announced.

The Henry Cecil-trained colt won all 14 races and just under three million pounds in prize money over three seasons, rounding it off in tremendous style on Champions Day at Ascot in October in the Champion Stakes.

However, despite many people's expectations being confirmed that he was the greatest ever, the rankings will be considered controversial for several of the horses have been downgraded from their previous ranking.

While Frankel - who was owned by his breeder Saudi Prince Khalid Abdullah and has retired to his Juddmonte Stud farm in England - earned a ranking of 140, previous top rated Dancing Brave, also owned by Abdullah, has been demoted from 141 to 138 while the ill-fated Shergar fell from 140 to 136.

The ratings are expressed in the equivalent of pounds in weight. So according to the rankings, Frankel would be 2lb superior to Dancing Brave, who won eight of his 10 races in 1985 and 1986 - including the 2000 Guineas, Eclipse Stakes, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Frankel, who won the 2000 Guineas but did not run in the Epsom Derby or Europe's most prestigious race Arc de Triomphe, earned his highest rating twice during 2012 - in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Juddmonte International in August.

Frankel - who is the only horse to have topped the world rankings as a two, three and four-year-old - was rated 9lb ahead of his nearest 2012 rival, Champion Stakes runner-up Cirrus des Aigles on 131, with unbeaten Australian sprinter Black Caviar and Excelebration next on 130.

The international rankings, which have only included American horses since 1995, were ratified during a conference of handicappers from around the world in Hong Kong last month.

They followed a review that said handicapping methods - which determine a horse's ranking - had 'evolved' over the past 35 years.

Officials have acknowledged that many horses from the 1970s and 1980s have elevated figures compared with those they would achieve today, leading to several rankings which have stood for years being revised.

Frankel was referred to as "the new benchmark of equine excellence" by the rankings committee.