Frankel hailed priceless as he heads to stud

 
Julian Harris
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RETIRING racehorse Frankel was hailed as the best ever seen yesterday, after winning his final race before being sent to stud.

The four-year old colt stormed to a 14th straight victory during the Qipco Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday, later drawing praise from the man who will be crucial to Frankel’s new career as a stallion.

“Everyone seems to be talking about him being worth £100m, but that might be somewhat exaggerated. He’s like a painting – how do you value a horse which has never been seen before?” asked Philip Mitchell, the general manager at Juddmonte Farms where Frankel will mate.

“It wasn’t a case of celebration time on Saturday night, I think it was more a case of huge relief,” Mitchell added. “It would have been awful if he had been beaten.”

Yet despite a sluggish start, Frankel did not disappoint, recovering to defeat last year’s winner – Cirrus Des Aigles – by just short of two lengths.

Having completed his impeccable career, Frankel will shortly return to Juddmonte, the place of his birth.

“He’s the best I’ve ever had, the best I’ve ever seen,” said the horse’s trainer, Sir Henry Cecil. “I’d be very surprised if there’s ever been anything better.”

Frankel could command £100,000 per assignation, as the most coveted stud in the world.

He is owned by Saudi Arabian Prince Khalid Abdullah, whose racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe laid out their plans over the weekend. “Our very best mares, if they think they might be suited to Frankel, will certainly go there [to Juddmonte],” Grimthorpe said.

“Frankel has brought a whole new generation of people to the sport. He's brought a wider public recognition of the sport and he's given them something to savour,” Grimthorpe added.

“He’s the ultimate equine athlete. We’ve never seen anything like him.”