Frankel, the world’s highest-rated racehorse, today left training in Newmarket to return to his birthplace, Banstead Manor Stud, where in 2013 he will start a new career as a stallion for Juddmonte Farms.
Trainer Sir Henry Cecil and his staff bade a fond farewell to the outstanding and unbeaten four-year-old colt as he departed Warren Place for the final time this morning.
Frankel, a champion for each of the last three seasons, received an equally warm welcome at Banstead Manor from the Juddmonte team, including its general manager Philip Mitchell, farm manager Simon Mockridge and head stallion man Rob Bowley.
Philip Mitchell said: “In the foaling unit on February 11, 2008, at 11.40pm, little did we realise that we were witnessing the birth of a phenomenal racehorse.
“The rest as they say is history and it is now extremely exciting that Frankel will be returning to the Stallion Unit at Banstead, some 500 yards from where he was born.”
Frankel is retired to stud as the winner of all 14 of his races. No less than 10 of those victories came at Group 1 level and in his glittering racing career he became the first horse to twice run to an official rating of 140. Esteemed independent form assessors Timeform gave him a rating of 147 – the highest figure the organisation has ever awarded.
Sir Henry Cecil said: “There is no doubt Frankel has been a brilliant racehorse. I am pretty certain that there has never been a better or more talented thoroughbred. He had the speed to be a champion sprinter and then, once he grew up and settled, he got a distance with a turn of foot that makes champions.
“Today is a sad day in some ways for us as he has given us so much pleasure over the last three years. But I want to thank Frankel for so much – for being such a very special part of my training career. Thank you, Frankel.”