LONDON // Frankel was confirmed as officially the highest-rated thoroughbred racehorse in the history of the international classifications on Tuesday when the World Thoroughbred Rankings (WTR) were released.
Prince Khalid Abdullah's colt, who has been retired to stud, won all 14 of his races culminating in his one and three-quarter length verdict over Cirrus Des Aigles, the Dubai Sheema Classic winner.
Frankel's position at the top of the rankings owes as much to his outrageous ability as to a much-needed recalculation by the WTR, who have demoted Dancing Brave, also owned by the Saudi Arabian prince.
Dancing Brave, who won the 1986 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, was originally allotted the highest handicap mark ever of 141, which was downgraded to 138.
Frankel's final rating of 140, therefore, is the level at which all thoroughbreds must now be judged.
"I am absolutely delighted. It is fully deserved," Lord Grimthorpe, Abdullah's racing manager said. "I think he would have been effective over more distances but the mantra was always to do the best for Frankel and I think he has done the best for us."
Frankel's rating is based on his scintillating performance in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
That's when he blitzed Excelebration by 11 lengths, allied to his successful step up to ten furlongs at York when defeating Godolphin's Farhh and St Nicholas Abbey in the Juddmonte International in August.
"It was an absolutely astounding performance to cruise off a good pace and go away from them. He definitely Frankelised them there," Grimthorpe added.
Frankel and Nathaniel, John Gosden's Eclipse winner, were the only two horses in the top ten of the rankings to be trained in Britain, with the resurgence of America the most notable aspect to the final standings.
Wise Dan, the Breeders' Cup Mile victor, I'll Have Another, who won the Kentucky Derby, and Fort Larned, the Breeders' Cup Classic winner, all featured. Animal Kingdom, who was second to Wise Dan in Santa Anita, was ranked in 13th ahead of his proposed tilt at the Dubai World Cup in March.
Monterosso, the Dubai World Cup winner trainer by Mahmoud Al Zarooni, was seventh on the list alongside Nathaniel and So You Think, who chased home Cirrus Des Aigles at Meydan Racecourse.
The International Classifications were set up in 1977, with American handicappers only joining the venture in 1995. For some time the ratings were generally accepted to have been inflated, particularly with star horses such as Frankel, Sea The Stars and Goldikova in Europe recently, and the likes of Black Caviar in Australia, making historical comparisons difficult.
The World Rankings Supervisory Committee therefore looked to reposition their historical ratings, a process which began in Europe in October and was approved in principle at an annual meeting in Hong Kong in December.
"It was important to acknowledge previous inconsistencies and address the elephant in the room," Garry O'Gorman, co-chairman of the committee, said. "There has not been consistency with the levels then with those made since the early 90s."
The ratings of Cigar, the 1996 Dubai World Cup winner who now lies in joint-seventh in the all-time list, and Dubai Millennium, who won the world's most valuable race four years later and is now in joint-14th, are unaffected.
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