Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Biting Back: Frankel the wonder horse

Telegraph Sport: where the debate really gets started

Frankel is washed down after taking his tally to 12 wins in 12 races in the Qipco Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood

Frankel contests the prestigious Juddmonte International at York today - almost certainly the penultimate race of a glittering career.

Frankel has racked up 12 successive victories and has been odds on for all bar the very first one.

But when Sir Henry Cecil’s charge is retired at the end of the season there will be a sense of unfulfilled potential.

Frankel is officially rated as the world’s best racehorse but the much anticipated clash with Australia’s superhorse Black Caviar never materialised — like two leading boxers that the sport’s politics have contrived to keep apart.

Although Frankel is currently a red hot 1-7 favourite to win today, there is an added twist in that the 10-furlong Juddmonte International will be his first race beyond a mile.

And of the 10 runners, at least one — Aidan O’Brien’s St Nicholas Abbey — poses some sort of threat.

But if, as expected, Frankel makes it 13 wins from 13 starts, it will be a record-breaking eighth successive Group One victory.

Frankel will then have one more race this season before switching to what is expected to be a highly lucrative career at stud.

Frankel is just four years old and at the height of his fame and powers, so it is very much racing’s loss that such a big draw is disappearing from the sport in his prime.

But in racing, money always talks — and with Frankel said to be worth over £100m at stud, another season on the track is just too big a risk for connections to take.