Frankel officially rated best since rankings began after review

Frankel has become officially the highest-ever rated racehorse on the Flat after a review of global rankings.

The retired champion, who won all 14 of his races, takes the top spot after the rating for previous number one Dancing Brave was downgraded.

Frankel's rating is confirmed as 140, but Dancing Brave is now 138 not 141, following a "historical recalibration" of the rankings, which started in 1977.

Shergar and Alleged, who were on 140 with Frankel, are down to 136 and 134.

The ratings were revealed as the 2012 World Thoroughbred Rankings were announced on Tuesday.

They followed a review that said handicapping methods - which determine a horse's ranking - had ''evolved'' over the past 35 years.

Officials have acknowledged that many horses from the 1970s and 1980s have elevated figures compared with those they would achieve today, leading to several rankings which have stood for years being revised.

Frankel was referred to as "the new benchmark of equine excellence" by the rankings committee.

The colt, trained by Sir Henry Cecil, and owned by Prince Khalid Abdulla, crowned his unbeaten career with victory in the Champion Stakes at Ascot in October 2012.

He was retired at the age of four for a breeding career, which is due to start on Valentine's Day, 14 February - and commands a stud fee of £125,000 a time.

Dancing Brave, also owned by Abdulla and trained by Guy Harwood, won eight of his 10 races in 1985 and 1986 - including the 2000 Guineas, Eclipse, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe,

The ratings are expressed in the equivalent of pounds in weight. So according to the rankings, Frankel would be 2lb superior to Dancing Brave.

Frankel, who won the 2000 Guineas but did not run in the Epsom Derby or Arc, earned his highest rating twice during 2012 - in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot and York's Juddmonte International.

He is considered by many to be the best of all time, although unlike other top-rated horses such as Dancing Brave, Peintre Celebre and Sea The Stars, he never ran over a distance further than a mile and a quarter.

Peintre Celebre, who won the 1997 Arc, is now officially the third best since rankings began after his rating was kept at 137.

Frankel - who is the only horse to have topped the world rankings as a two, three and four-year-old - was rated 9lb ahead of his nearest 2012 rival, Champion Stakes runner-up Cirrus des Aigles on 131, with unbeaten Australian sprinter Black Caviar and Excelebration next on 130.

The international rankings, which have only included American horses since 1995, were ratified during a conference of handicappers from around the world in Hong Kong last month.


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