Fairytale exit for the fantastic Frankel

Frankel, the world’s top-rated racehorse, won his final contest in majestic style on Saturday at the Champion Stakes to finish his stunning career unbeaten.

Frankel made it 14 out of 14 in three years of competition but he had to fight in the Ascot heavy going to wear down the tough French veteran Cirrus Des Aigles by one and three quarter-lengths with Nathaniel in third.

“He will retire today. He has run his last race,” Saudi Arabian owner Prince Khalid Abdullah told Reuters after Frankel and trainer Henry Cecil were given a standing ovation following the emotionally-charged victory.

Cecil, who has praised the horse for helping to sustain his battle against stomach cancer, told reporters: “He’s the best I’ve ever had, the best I’ve ever seen.

“I cannot believe in the history of racing that there has ever been a better race horse,” he added in a voice barely above a whisper given his latest treatment.

Frankel missed the break coming out of the stalls and then was tucked in fourth by the unflappable Tom Queally but he pulled out to take the lead in the final furlong to land the glittering prize.

Queally struggled to supply enough superlatives about the horse that has forever changed his life. “What can I say about him? You never see a Formula One car win on anything but tarmac but he may argue that case a little,” said the Irishman.

Few fans would dispute his conclusion after watching Frankel, clearly ill at ease on the
soft ground, fight his way past his five rivals despite concerns leading into the race about the conditions. Frankel’s final race was watched live in 86 countries around the world from Australia to Azerbaijan and Prince Abdullah’s racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe hailed the horse’s unparalleled achievements.

“He is the greatest. He has brought a whole new generation of people to the sport. He is the ultimate equine athlete,” said Grimthorpe. “I have never seen anything like it,” he added of Frankel, who has amassed nearly three million pounds ($4.81 million) in prize money during his glittering career and is set to generate millions more as a stallion.

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