Conor Creamer takes a look at five of the most popular horses of the 21st century and picks out the highlights of their career.
Known as ‘Usain Colt’, Frankel will be remembered as one of the greatest thoroughbreds to every grace a racecourse. 14 victories from 14 starts, including 10 Group 1’s, this son of Galileo boasted the speed, acceleration and determination that only Champions utilise to best effect.
Frankel’s 2000 Guineas victory in April 2011 will go down in history as, arguably, the most dominant display ever witnessed in a British classic. His ability to sustain a ferocious gallop and force a top-level field in to submission is a talent seen rarely on the track.
Sea The Stars
Sea The Stars engraved his name in to the history books when completing a memorable treble in 2009, winning the 2000 Guineas, Derby and Arc de Triomphe.
This son of Cape Cross mounted career earnings of nearly £4.5m thanks to 8 victories from 9 outings with the highlight being his last at Longchamp in the Arc de Triomphe. He was sent off as the odds-on favourite for Europe’s most prestigious race where he endured the worst possible start.
Jockey Mick Kinane had to sit tight aboard his 3-year old mount before a gap opened to showcase his blistering turn of foot - putting the race away within a matter of strides. Sea The Stars will be remembered as one of the greatest middle-distanced horses to ever grace the turf.
Rock Of Gibraltar
Aidan O’Brien has had his fair share of flat racing greats and to many eyes Rock Of Gibraltar ranks as the best of them. He was a winner of 10 of his 13 starts and amassed a streak of 7 consecutive Group 1 victories throughout his 18-month career.
His illustrious list of career wins included the British and Irish 2000 Guineas, the St James’ Palace Stakes, the Sussex Stakes and a Prix du Moulin. It was only his last outing at the Breeders Cup that prevented him making it a magnificent 8.
Rock Of Gibraltar will forever be known as one of the great flat racing milers.
Rock Of Gibraltar wins the 2000 Guineas
Cirrus Des Aigles
Cirrus Des Aigles is widely viewed in France as one of their greatest flat horses. A winner of 22 of his 62 starts, the 9-year old has accumulated £6m in prize money thanks greatly to 7 Group 1 wins.
The tenacity he shows on the racetrack is what the public fall in love with. His never-say-die attitude on the biggest stage has allowed him to maintain such a fantastic standard for the last 7 years. Once he makes his winning challenge he becomes as hard a horse to reel in.
Cirrus Des Aigles’ love for the game is apparent as he continues to travel around the globe to contest the richest races.
At the age of 9, Red Cadeaux is still globe-trotting to contest the biggest races. From 51 starts, this Ed Dunlop-trained gelding has amassed career earnings of nearly £5m – quite staggering for a horse that has just 7 victories to his name.
Red Cadeaux’s regularity is what has the racing public so engaged. The veteran’s capability to perform consistently on the biggest stage, whether that is in Melbourne or Hong Kong, deserves great respect.
Gallant performances in 4 Melbourne Cups, 4 Hong Kong Vases and 2 Dubai World Cups will long live in the memories of his adoring fans.