On 19th June 2012 a tremendous thoroughbred horse ran in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot against the second and fifth best three year old colts in the world in 2011 (Excelebration and Strong Suit).
Three furlongs from home this horse took the lead and in scenes that evoked shock and awe among spectators, he absolutely dominated the field to come home 11 lengths clear of the nearest chaser. Off the back of this race alone, this horse changed the way that horses are rated by governing bodies and gained the highest rating of all time at 147.
The horses name was Frankel and is considered by the majority of racing fans as the greatest horse racing thoroughbred that ever lived. Owned by Khalid Abdullah, Bred by Juddmonte Farms and trained by master flats trainer Sir Henry Cecil, Frankel didn’t have the worst of starts in life and by the time it’s 2 year-old season came around he was fit and firing.
Win 1 – EBF Maiden Stakes – 13 August 2010
Starting his 2-year-old career on a one-mile maiden race at Newmarket on the soft, he broke slowly before pressing two furlongs from home. He wasn’t left wanting and easily won in half a length with seemingly a lot more to give.
Win 2 – Frank Whittle Stakes – 10 September 2010
A month after his first win, Frankel ran the Frank Whittle Conditions Stakes over seven furlongs at Doncaster. Winning by a seriously impressive 13 lengths, Frankel was a horse to be added to the notebook from here-on-in.
Win 3 – Royal Lodge Stakes – 25 September 2010
In Group company for the first time at the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes at Ascot, Frankel made lots of spectators stand up and take notice of his mid-race movement around the home turn. The colt won the race by 10 lengths and Peter Scargill of The Racing Post commented that “..the jockey merely pushed his mount out hands and heels to win by ten lengths – it could’ve easily been more”
Win 6 – 2000 Guineas – 30 April 2011
Winning his warm up for the 2000 Guineas, the Greenham Stakes at Newbury, by 7 lengths Frankel was coming into the Guineas in fine form as shown by his odds of ½, the shortest price given in the race since 1974. Going for the lead immediately Frankel had amassed a 15 length lead by the half way point and won the race by six lengths, the biggest winning margin since 1947. This race solidified Frankel’s star status and elevated him to the most feared flat racing horse of the time.
Win 8 – Sussex Stakes – 27 July 2011
Billed as the most eagerly anticipated race in years, Frankel was to be pitted against Canford Cliffs, a five-time consecutive Group 1 winner. His trainer, Henry Cecil, said that he had expected the colt to win easily, despite having ample respect for his Frankel’s rival. He won the race by five lengths and in doing so his rating was improved to 135, making him the best racehorse in the world.
Win 11 – Queen Anne Stakes – 19 June 2012
The race that made Frankel a superstar. Starting at odds of 1/10 at Royal Ascot it was a dangerous situation for Frankel to be in, running against some of the best horses in recent years such as Excelebration, a horse who had been beaten by Frankel before, should he not win the only way would have been down. What happened in the race will be talked about by horse racing aficionados for all time though; Frankel kicked three furlongs from the end and reached a top speed of 43 mph. This resulted in him leaving the entirety of the field in the distance and winning the race by an absolutely enormous 11 lengths.
In response to that win Timeform, the official horse rating company, raised Frankel’s provisional rating to 147, the highest in the organisation’s history, two pounds in advance of the 145 recorded in 1965 by Sea-Bird.
Win 14 – Champion Stakes – 20 October 2012
Frankel’s final race almost didn’t happen, the ground at Ascot causing serious concern being soft, heavy in places, and the colt’s participation had been in doubt until Lord Grimthorpe walked the course on the morning of the race and gave the go ahead. Frankel came through to win in just under 2 lengths to seal its legacy on the tricky track. Summed up perfectly by his jockey, Tom Queally, when he said “You never see an F1 car win on anything but tarmac but for him to win on ground like that shows how special he is. There was a bigger crowd at Royal Ascot but this was more intense. I don’t know what I would have done if he didn’t win.”