Monday, 7 October 2019

Is Frankel Better than Secretariat?

Read these fascinating comments: 

If one adds the criteria of “stamina” to the requirements of greatness, then I believe after Secretariat, there would be another four horses ahead of Frankel (in order from #2 to #5): Phar Lap, Sea Bird II, Man O War and Ribot. In an all-time invitation only 12f turf at the Arc or on dirt at Belmont, these great horses would be invited to challenge the legendary Secretariat. Frankel wouldn’t make the cut as he never raced at 12f, was withdrawn when favourite for the 12f King George despite being fully fit and also conceding 10 lengths in the straight to Zoffany after going hard early (the 3rd event being the very likely cause of the first two). 

If however there was an invitation-only race on turf or dirt over 10f, then the above forces as well as Frankel, Dr Fager, Brigadier Gerard and Spectacular Bid should be added.

Secretariat remains clearly the greatest overall horse of all time, with his consistency being tarnished due to poor trainer/owner and even starter judgment (running sick/unfit, harsh DQ in a race he won easily and going away) and not due to the horse himself. 

The more interesting question to me is who is #6 all-time horse: Frankel or Dr Fager? Both brilliant 8f specialists who could also last 10f. I believe Secretariat would deserve automatic favouritism for any 10f-12f race and probably any 9f-13f race. 

What would be interesting to consider is, who would deserve favouritism from the above 9 horses over 8f turf or dirt? Remembering that Secretariat set a world record over 9f despite running wide and being checked, which has since only once been bettered by 0.2s.


Secretariat horse racing
Reply: 

Frankel all time 6th best- ridiculous- sea the stars was a superb horse up there with Frankel and secretariat- American fans – get used to it there has never been a horse like Frankel- he beat better horses consistently that secretariat- all g1 winners- the standard he beat was infinitely better and higher- no comparison- horse racing in the UK and Europe is higher than the USA-


Reply: 


In terms of competition, the quality of horses Secretariat faced was actually clearly above the average quality of rivals Frankel faced. Perhaps the single most devastating margin in horse racing is Secretariat’s 10.5 margin length victory of #8 US blood-horse legend Forego in the Kentucky Derby, after giving him a multiple length lead and running wide outside of him. Then there was Sham, still the owner of the 2nd largest heart in all of racing history, behind only Secretariat (Mill Reed was 3rd on that score). Riva Ridge (Derby, Belmont), Big Spruce (Marlboro), Cougar (Chilean champ) and Tem Tam (US champion 4yo turf horse) were other worthy opponents Secretariat annihilated under hand rides. Sea The Stars lacked the explosiveness of either Frankel or Secretariat. And Frankel lacked the ability to hold that explosiveness all the way to the line: he could explode for 3f only, Secretariat could do it for 4f. That very last furlong is where Frankel’s 10th furlong of 14.0s on turf would expose him against a horse like Secretariat capable of closing in the 10th furlong of 11.5s on the slowest dirt track in America. 

Also this talk that UK horses being inherently better bred than USA horses is nonsense; 90% of modern champions feature both Northern Dancer (Canada) and Mr Prospector (USA), including both Frankel and Sea The Stars. Neither of these famous sires incidentally being British.

Reply: 

Secretariat did not have the explosive speed or class that Frankel showed. Secretariat first runs against older horses ended in defeat NO EXCUSES. THEN GOT THUMPED BY PROVE OUT. How can you justify calling a horse all-time great when he could not beat horses in his own period.


I’m an American and I am in LOVE with Frankel—the same way that I was/still am in love with Secretariat. Why bother to decide which racehorse is the greatest? However, Frankel is right up there with Secretariat in terms of greatness, and no others are in their ranks. I agree that Frankel competed against better horses than did Secretariat, but I am obsessed with both of them!!! Is there a Frankel fan club I can share my obsession with???


What do you think? 

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