Frankel's five-length demolition of Canford Cliffs in the Sussex Stakes has people talking, and what they are saying is that Sir Henry Cecil's horse may be the best in the world right now.
Frankel 'best horse in the world'
GOODWOOD, ENGLAND // He may be the best miler in the world, but Frankel's demolition of Canford Cliffs in the Sussex Stakes marks him as the best horse on the planet, according to the British Horseracing Authority's senior mile handicapper.
Frankel went into Wednesday's race ranked jointly at 130 in the World Thoroughbred Rankings along with Black Caviar, the unbeaten Australian sprinter.
The five-length defeat inflicted on Canford Cliffs looks set to propel the son of Galileo into the upper echelons of the rankings system when his revised official rating is revealed next week.
"I can't see any way Frankel won't be rated the best horse in the world after that performance," said Dominic Gardiner-Hill, the British Horseracing Authority's senior mile-handicapper. "In terms of a published figure, I think he will go up to at least [to] 133 and quite probably 134 or 135. This will have to be discussed with our international colleagues before his position in the World Thoroughbred Rankings is confirmed."
To put Frankel's performance into context, Timeform, the respected English ratings organisation, have placed Sir Henry Cecil's charge as the fourth-best horse of all-time.
Frankel is rated on their individual rankings system at 142 alongside Ribot, the dual Arc winner in the 1950s; Windy City, who raced in America in the same decade; and Abernant, whose performances in 1949-50 lead many to regard the grey as the best British sprinter.
Timeform puts Frankel streets ahead of Dubai Millennium (140), who won the 2000 Dubai World Cup for Godolphin by six lengths, and Cigar (138), who won the inaugural world cup in 1996.
It leaves him short of the mighty Sea Bird, who the organisation rate as the best horse to have graced the turf since the Second World War, but with the possibility of his career extending into next season there is no reason why Frankel cannot scale the pinnacle of equine achievement.
As far as Tom Queally is concerned, Frankel is already the finished article.
"He's a seductor, and then he kicks that turbo," Queally said. "He stays well and has that turn of foot. From a jockey's point of view he is flawless. It is simple as that. The performance speaks for itself." Frankel put daylight between him and his chief rival with a devastating burst of speed that looked to extend to nearly two furlongs.
The Goodwood track features a downhill section coming out of the bend on the mile course and in the section between the three- and four-furlong poles, Michael Tanner, a racing historian and sectional timer at Goodwood since 1983, recorded a 10.13secs split with a hand timer.
That is generally a sprinter's pace, and the timing must be regarded with a hint of suspicion, but on the evidence of Frankel's English 2000 Guineas victory in April it is clear that he has the ability to inject pace into a race with some of the best five furlong runners.
Richard Hannon, the trainer of Canford Cliffs, was adamant that his colt performed below expectations, but with a rematch slated for Ascot on October 15, the racing world could be in line for something very special indeed.