Frankel's place in unbeaten history
03 Aug 2012 | In becoming the first horse to win the QIPCO Sussex Stakes at Goodwood for the second time, Frankel took his unbeaten run to 12. His sequence, notable in the modern era, puts him high on that particular numerical leaderboard, but not yet at the top.
The record for an unbeaten career is held by 1874-foaled Kincsem, a Hungarian-trained mare who won all 54 of her races. She was campaigned all over Europe and on her sole visit to Britain won the 1878 Goodwood Cup by an easy two lengths, despite being left half a furlong at the start. Next best is the Australian sprinter Black Caviar, winner of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, and currently 22 from 22.
Among unbeaten Flat-race horses trained in Britain, Eclipse (foaled in 1764) still reigns supreme with 18 victories. The 19th century paragon Ormonde (1883) won 16 races.
Two British-trained champions won their first 15 races before meeting defeat. The peerless Pretty Polly (1901) took nine races as a juvenile, then the 1,000 Guineas, Oaks, Coronation Stakes, Nassau Stakes, St Leger and Park Hill Stakes before meeting defeat in a visit to France, in the Prix de Conseil Municipal at Longchamp, on heavy ground after an exhausting journey.
Brigadier Gerard (1968), whose wins included a 2,000 Guineas, Sussex Stakes and Champion Stakes at three and Eclipse Stakes and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at four, was famously beaten by Roberto in the York race that is now the Juddmonte International, Frankel's next target. The US star Zenyatta won her first 19 races before going under by a head in the Breeders Cup Classic two years ago.
Unbeaten Flat horses
54 - Kincsem (1874, Hungary)
22 - Black Caviar (2006, Australia)*
19 - Peppers Pride (2003, USA)
18 - Eclipse (1764, GB), Karayel (1970, Turkey)
16 - Ormonde (1883, GB), Prestige (1903, France), Ribot (1952, Italy)
15 - Colin (1905, USA), Macon (1922, Argentina)
14 - Nearco (1935, Italy)
13 - Tremont (1884, USA), Personal Ensign (1984, USA)
12 - Highflyer (1774, GB), Ardrossan (1809, GB), Crucifix (1837, GB), Asteroid (1861, USA), Barcaldine (1878, Ireland), Braque (1954, Italy), Frankel (2008, GB)*
*Still in training