AMERICAN superstar Flightline has officially been ranked as good as Frankel.
The recently-retired five-year-old was crowned the world’s best racehorse at a swanky awards lunch in London on Tuesday.
Getty Images – GettyFlightline has been crowned the world’s best racehorse[/caption]
And in receiving a handicap mark of 140, it puts him on a par with the legendary racehorse who was a perfect 14-14 for trainer Sir Henry Cecil.
The news hasn’t gone down particularly well with some British punters, who labelled the controversial announcement as a ‘disgrace’.
Frankel had 14 starts in his career, winning 10 Group 1s, while Flightline had just six starts for four top-level wins, with some arguing he didn’t have enough of a body of work to earn the same ranking.
But in winning the Pacific Classic by 19 lengths and the Breeders’ Cup Classic by eight lengths, the group of top international handicappers who dish out these awards decided he was as good as the great horse.
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Flightline’s trainer John Sadler, who has been enjoying the sites in London this weekend, said: “He never hid his talent.
“He was a star from the day he walked into the barn and that’s the way he walked out.
“We’re so grateful to have a horse like this in my career. Most horsemen never get one like this, so I feel very blessed.
“We watched Frankel run. Racing gets more international and we follow what’s happening over here so we thought that was kind of a good comparison.
“He’s gone off to stud now and now his career his over we can look back and enjoy it a lot more without any pressure.”
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Runner-up was William Haggas’ Baaeed who finished with a rating of 135, making him the best turf horse on the planet.
His big-race jockey Jim Crowley said: “It was an experience like I’ve never experienced before, it was like everything happened in slow motion.
“He was just a pleasure to ride, there was never a moment’s worry. When I could go between horses and just keep taking a pull and all season I had never really let the handbrake off. I always knew it was there so when I finally did let go, it was a great feeling.
“Just to hear the crowd clapping was unusual. Normally they cheer, but it was just applause and appreciation.”
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