Saturday 18 November 2017

Frankel rated best on earth

FRANKEL was officially rated 4lb clear of the field as the best racehorse on the planet at the announcement of the World Thoroughbred Rankings.

Henry Cecil's unbeaten colt, who carried all before him during the season in a five-race streak, was given a rating of 136 to equal that of Sea The Stars in 2009 as the finest since the instigation of the current system in 2004.

Frankel has been considered by Cecil and many experts as the greatest in modern times, although he falls short of the heights achieved in the old classifications by El Gran Senor (138 in 1984) and further from 1986 Arc hero Dancing Brave (141), Alleged and Shergar (both 140).

The figures are collated when the world's handicappers meet at the end of the year and it was decided that the clear second best, on 132, was the celebrated Australian sprinter Black Caviar.

Garry O'Gorman, the senior Irish handicapper, said Frankel can still be considered the equal to those giants of the past.

He said: "I would hate to say Frankel and Sea The Stars would have to improve to be talked about in the same breath as those other horses."

O'Neill praises retired Push It

Jonjo O'Neill branded Don't Push It "an unbelievable horse" after confirming the retirement of the 2010 John Smith's Grand National winner.

The 12-year-old gelding famously provided jockey Tony McCoy with his first National success at the 15th attempt, but has signed off from racing after failing to fire on the gallops at his home in Jackdaws Castle, Cheltenham.

O'Neill said: "He's in great form, and he's doing everything grand at home, but he's just not showing us the same old sparkle.

"He's 12 now and we are doing the right thing in retiring him."

Don't Push It returned to Aintree last April and turned in another honourable display when finishing third behind Ballabriggs. He will spend his retirement at owner JP McManus's Martinstown Stud in Co Limerick, having won eight races in a 29-race career which yielded more than £750,000 in prize-money.

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