The Tout says a fond farewell to Frankel
It must have taken some restraint from Sir Henry Cecil, the trainer of many of the greatest horses of the last 40 years, to wait until after Frankel’s last race on Saturday to state: “Frankel is the best I have trained, the best I have seen and the best horse ever.” Frankel was simply incredible in his final race and gave the huge crowd a real reason to be glad, proud and happy to be at Ascot for his swansong performance.
In hardcore racing terms, Frankel is officially rated by The Jockey Club handicapper as the highest rated of all time but for the memory it was the sheer style of his demolition of other high class horses that will stand out. His pace in the middle of a race was so brutal that before he even switched to top gear from his cruising speed he had dismissed every rival that ever showed up. At one point it was thought that his skills would be restricted to racing over a mile but as has he subsequently showed he was equally efficient and possibly more settled over a mile and a quarter.
The key to his success as he got older was the fact that he settled so much better in his races. The 2000 Guineas was madly impressive and Frankie Dettori was still struggling to believe the way he ran away from the field when he was interviewed a week later and stated that it would normally be impossible to send a horse away from the field at the halfway stage of a classic race. In the role of honour we also have to be grateful to Frankel’s pacemaker, Bullet Train, who did so much to help him in his races by ensuring that the early pace was fast enough.
We salute Frankel and are certain that during our life we will never see his like again. There is now the intrigue of his performance at stud as it seems impossible that he will replicate himself so his first runner in 2016 will be eagerly anticipated and sure to be out of an equally blue blooded mare. Thank goodness he has retired safely from the track and we can all say that we saw Frankel when any other pretenders appear and someone tells you that a certain horse is the best they have seen. Goodbye Frankel, but only for three years. We shall look forward to seeing your progeny appear on the same turf that you bestrode so magnificently.