Spotlight on Frankel – The Wonder Horse
You may already know something about great race horses. But who would you name as the world’s greatest race horse? We would throw Great Britain’s Frankel in the ring. Let’s meet him and learn his story.
Born in February 2008, in Sussex, England, the bay stallion named Frankel is the offspring of two winners. His Sire, Galileo, was the 2001 Derby winner. His Dam, Kind, was a five consecutive race winner in 2004. Both parents were born in Ireland.
Frankel’s owners named him after the successful US trainer, Bobby Frankel. His namesake stallion is the undefeated champion of flat racing. In a 14-race career, he won all 14 races. The World’s Thoroughbred Racehorse Ranking Committee ranked him the highest of any horse since they started scoring thoroughbreds in 1977. His confirmed score was 140. The next closest ranking was 138, a spread of two points. At one point, some people thought his value was more than £100 million.
Frankel’s jockey in all 14 races was Tom Queally, an Irish thoroughbred racehorse jockey, and first jockey to Henry Cecil, a British flat racing horse trainer. With a reputation as one of the greatest trainers in thoroughbred racing history, Cecil was Champion Trainer 10 times and had trained 25 classic winners as of June 2012. Cecil was Frankel’s trainer throughout his 14-race career.
Frankel started his racing career in 2010 as a two-year old. He ran four races that year and won each of them handily. The race courses were a mile or less. The races were the EBF Maiden Stakes in Newmarket; the Frank Whittle Stakes in Doncaster; the Royal Lodge Stakes in Ascot; and the Dewhurst stakes in Newmarket. Frankel won £4,000 at the Maiden Stakes in August. By the time he won the Dewhurst Stakes in October, his winnings were £180,000.
As a three-year old, Frankel ran five races in 2011. They were the Greenham Stakes at Newbury; the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket; St. James Palace at Ascot; Sussex Stakes at Goodwood; and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot. He won £198,000 in April at the 2000 Guineas. By the time he ran his fifth race that season at the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, the prize was £567,000.
Frankel ran five more races as a four-year old in 2012. The races were the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury; Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot; Sussex Stakes at Goodwood; International Stakes at York; and the Champion Stakes at Ascot. The International Stakes was over ten furlongs which was the first time that he raced over a mile. He won the race so handily that his trainer chose the Champion Stakes as his last race (also over ten furlongs). The largest prize Frankel took home that season was £737,000 from his win at the Champion Stakes at Ascot. He also made the record books as the first horse to twice win the Sussex Stakes. He made further history by his margin in the Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot when he lead to victory by 11 lengths.
Frankel’s remarkable career earned him a glorious retirement. He currently enjoys life at Banstead Manor Stud in Suffolk where he was born. Frankel commands a £125,000 stud fee for his services. In his first year at stud, Frankel covered 133 mares with a demonstrated fertility rate of 95%. In June of 2014, the stallion’s first foal sold at auction for £1.15million. Frankel’s career as a stud could go on for twenty years.
To read more about this incredible horse, read Brian Viner’s article in the Irish Examiner written before his last race in 2012. The article is “Frankel: the full story of the world’s greatest racehorse.”
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