Frankel crowned best of best

  • Last Updated: January 15 2013, 16:34 GMT

Frankel has been hailed a "benchmark of equine excellence" after officially being crowned the highest-rated horse in history by the group of international handicappers who compile the World Thoroughbred Rankings.

Frankel: Confirmed as champion

Sir Henry Cecil's colt was awarded a final mark of 140 at a press conference in London after signing off his racing career unbeaten in 14 starts.

Dancing Brave previously held the title of the best horse on the 141 he was awarded after the 1986 season, but that rating has been reassessed and downgraded to 138.

The international rankings system started in 1977 and the handicappers have conceded the techniques to create the rankings these days are different to those in the past, meaning many horses from the 1970s and 1980s have elevated figures compared with what they would achieve today.

Taking that into account, they have adjusted the historical figures and Frankel now sits at the head of the all-time ratings list.

Lord Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, said: "We're absolutely delighted it's fully deserved. I think he would have been effective over a lot more distances but the mantra was to do the best for Frankel and Frankel did the best for us so we've got no complaints.

"I think it [Queen Anne win at Royal Ascot] was an absolutely outstanding performance to cruise off a good pace and then really go away from them. He certainly Frankelised them that day, definitely."

A statement from the handicappers read: "From a European perspective, while eight horses have been champion racehorse at both two and three years of age since the International Classifications commenced in 1977, Frankel this year became the first horse to be officially a champion (or joint-champion) at two, three and four years of age during that period.

"An outstanding racehorse, it is fair to say in the circumstances that he constitutes a new benchmark for equine excellence on the racecourse."

The recalibration of the historical ratings also impact upon the mark awarded to 1981 Derby winner Shergar, who has been dropped 4lb.

He is now on 136, along with 1991 Derby hero Generous (dropped 1lb) and six-times Group One-winner Sea The Stars, who has been left unchanged.

They are 1lb behind 1997 Arc winner Peintre Celebre (137), who has also been left untouched.

Frankel signed off his career with a memorable Qipco Champion Stakes victory at Ascot last October and completed his improvement from an initial mark of 126 when joint-champion two-year-old of 2010 with Dream Ahead to 136 a year ago and 140 now.

The Galileo colt has clear water between Cirrus Des Aigles (131), who chased him home in the Champion Stakes and won two Group One last year.

Australian sprint sensation Black Caviar is next best on 130, a mark she shares with Aidan O'Brien's champion miler Excelebration.

Fellow Ballydoyle inmate So You Think is rated 126 after signing off his racing career with victory in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot, while stable companion St Nicholas Abbey reached 124, the same mark he earned in 2011 and as a juvenile in 2009.

O'Brien's 2000 Guineas and dual Derby hero Camelot also achieved a rating of 124.

Germany's King George-winning mare Danedream and Ed Dunlop's Snow Fairy are the leading middle-distance horses in the world in the distaff division, both similarly earning a rating of 124.

Honourable mentions also go to Japanese superstar Orfevre (127), so agonisingly denied in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, John Gosden's top-class performer Nathaniel (126) and Godolphin's Dubai World Cup hero Monterosso (126).

Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week