This week our guest columnist pays tribute to one of the world’s most successful sporting stars ahead of their retiral on Saturday.
He’s swept away all before him but now is the time to call it a day. But this will be no lucklustre shuffle off into retirement - at stake is this incredible competitor’s record of having won every single event it has entered.
I’m talking of course about Frankel, a four-year-old thoroughbred, who is officially the greatest racehorse in the world today. Some well-placed folk even make the claim that there has been no greater horse in all of flat racing history.
Frankel’s record speaks for itself. He has raced 13 times and has only ever been led back to the winner’s enclosure.
He has amassed prize money totalling £2,261,072 in a career that has lasted a little over two years.
In his second race, the one-mile 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, he was at one point ahead by 15 lengths, before cantering home at a more casual pace to win by a still-thumping six lengths.
Cynics might think this is a trite comparison, but the only other living competitor with such a reputation for sheer blistering speed is Usain Bolt. And with the greatest of respect to the Jamaican, he doesn’t enjoy a 100 per cent record.
One of the first day of Royal Ascot earlier this year, Frankel won the one-mile Queen Anne Stakes by an almost unbelievable 11 lengths.
This Saturday, he will race for the final time in the Champion Stakes at Ascot. The prize money is a not-to-be-sniffed-at £1,300,000. But what is really up for grabs is the chance of achieving immortality.
If Frankel can romp home he will join the likes of Synchronised and Red Rum as one of the few horses to achieve global fame in their own right.
Regardless of the result, he can look forward to a fine retirement - in which he is likely to squire around 140 of the finest mares a year.