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Biting Back: Legend Frankel let down by inability to speak

Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts

With John Laverty

Run your eye over the following testimonials and guess who they refer to...

“He can be anything he wants to be...”

“If he entered the American presidential race, even at this late stage, he’d probably win it...”

“He’s so intelligent, he could go on Mastermind and wouldn’t let himself down...”

“He’ll be devastated when he has to retire; he’ll miss all the fuss, the adulation...”

“He has the heart of a lion...”

Have you worked it out yet? Deduced what superhuman can generate such praise?

Actually, the subject in question isn’t superhuman. Indeed, isn’t human at all.

He’s four years old, has four legs and, believe me, his lack of ability in the speech department could well be a handicap on Mastermind or in a presidential debate.

Moreover, he may have the heart of a lion, but he definitely has the body of a horse.

Yes, we’re talking about Frankel here. One of the greatest-ever racehorses, right up there with — and possibly even better than — the likes of Brigadier Gerard and Dancing Brave.

His curtain call at Ascot on Saturday had grown men crying. (That’s a fact, actually, not a sweeping generalisation).

There is no doubt that Frankel is a truly magnificent beast — or, rather, ‘equine athlete.’ Even those of us with no great love of racing enjoyed watching him.

I’m not ashamed to say that I’ll miss seeing him in full flight en route to another thrilling victory. After all, in equine terms, this animal is close to perfection.

What I won’t miss is the hysterical, hyperbolic nonsense that goes with him.

Belfast Telegraph


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