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Frankel named as Flat horse of the decade by the experts

Frankel has been voted as the Racing Post experts’ Flat horse of the decade as they compiled a top 10 list, with six of the horses trained in Newmarket.

The late Sir Henry Cecil said of his beloved Frankel, the undefeated megastar whose career transcended the world of racing: “He’s the best horse I ever had, the best horse I have ever seen. I would be very surprised if there was ever a better horse.”

Given the manner of his four juvenile victories, it came as no surprise when he obliged at 1-2 in the 2011 2,000 Guineas, but even his biggest supporters were blown away by the nature of his performance; he blew the field away.

NEWMARKET JOURNAL.APRIL 2011..(L-R)Tom Queally, Khalid Abdullah and Henry Cecil celebrate winning the QIPCO 2000 Guineas Stakes with Frankel...... (25576942)
NEWMARKET JOURNAL.APRIL 2011..(L-R)Tom Queally, Khalid Abdullah and Henry Cecil celebrate winning the QIPCO 2000 Guineas Stakes with Frankel...... (25576942)

It was not a one-time occurrence. Frankel produced scintillating displays in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, providing a much-needed headline act for the inaugural British Champions Day with a four-length exhibition against Excelebration at Ascot.

Frankel demolished that rival on his first two starts as a four-year-old by a combined 16 lengths in the Lockinge and Queen Anne Stakes before comfortably following up in the Sussex Stakes.

His uninterrupted rise to the top coincided with his masterful trainer’s long battle with illness and there were then poignant scenes at York when a frail Cecil collected the trophy after Frankel’s seven-length defeat in the Juddmonte International.

Frankel’s racing career ended with victory in the 2012 Champion Stakes, his 14th win in a row.

He has also proved a champion in his second career and his offspring continue to impress worldwide.

John Gosden-trained Enable was ranked second in the list, while Golden Horn was voted fourth and Kingham voted seventh to see the Clarehaven Stables trainer with three entries in the top 10; no other trainer has more than one.

Enable made the cut for her combination of grace and raw power, and an indomitable will to win. She races on into the new decade as she targets an unparalleled third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Golden Horn’s 2015 haul of the Derby, Eclipse, Irish Champion Stakes and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe attests to the extent of his talent.

Kingman ran the milers ragged, winning his last four starts by an aggregate of 10 and three-quarter lengths after coming home on the bridle in most. He would scythe down opponents in the blink of an eye.

Charlie Appleby’s Pinatubo came in sixth, as the newest name on the list, having made stunning progress from his debut on the Wolverhampton all-weather in May to end last season as the champion juvenile.

After victory in the Woodcote at Epsom and an impressive success in the Chesham at Royal Ascot, Pinatubo blew his rivals away in the Vintage at Glorious Goodwood; he became the jewel in Godolphin’s crown and possesses a lot of raw potential.

Sir Michael Stoute-trained Harbinger wrapped up the top 10, for his 2010 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes success.

Top 10: 1. Frankel; 2. Enable; 3. Treve; 4. Golden Horn; 5. Cirrus Des Aigles; 6. Pinatubo; 7. Kingman; 8. St Nicholas Abbey; 9. Battaash; 10. Harbinger.