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ProveFrankel'sgreatby keepinghimintraining; LETTERS.

IT IS possible that Frankel is the greatest Flat horse of modern or all-time but we shall never know, of course, and his place in the pantheon will remain a matter of conjecture.

I have read that it is impossible to consider a horse who has not won the Derby, King George or Arc, or won away from these shores, as the greatest racehorse of all time.

It has to said that based on all the available evidence, Frankel can only be truly described as the greatest miler, in the same way Usain Bolt can only be called the greatest sprinter and not the greatest athlete. Winning one race, or perhaps two, over two furlongs further does not on its own improve the case for calling him the greatest.

Of course it is possible for Khalid Abdullah to keep Frankel in training as a five-year-old and win the King George, and the Arc, beating the best of three generations in the process.

If he were kept in training, his owner would be able to claim he owned the greatest Flat horse in history. At the moment, such a claim is pure conjecture and cannot be proved.

Temperament will be key if a horse is kept in training as a five-year-old. I do not know if Frankel is a sweetie or a mad thing and to not put him to stud would be to lose many millions of pounds in commercial revenue. But too many, almost all, top Flat horses go to stud on the back of inflated reputations.

Sea The Stars is an example in point.

He was undoubtedly the best of his generation, but that was all.

If Juddmonte and Coolmore were to put the greater interests of racing before commercial considerations the possibility emerges that Frankel and Camelot could race against one another next season.

Flat racing has never had such an opportunity. For once the Flat could have its equivalent of Denman v Kauto Star and Arkle v Mill House.

By allowing Frankel the opportunity to lose, his owner would be presenting the sport with a jewel beyond value. He would also be presenting himself with the opportunity of owning the greatest racehorse of all time. There would be no argument, no debate.

If Frankel runs his last race in the Champion Stakes he will retire with a question mark hanging over him.

Who can say if he is a better horse than Brigadier Gerard? Either way it is conjecture, except that the Brigadier was given the opportunity to lose, and yet won a King George.

He also beat Mill Reef, who is also one of the greatest racehorses of all time. Mill Reef won an Arc. Can Frankel be the greatest horse of all time without winning a King George or an Arc? Keith Knight Bideford
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 23, 2012
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