Picture Post: York Racecourse's bronze sculpture of Frankel, the horse Frankie Dettori called the 'equine Usain Bolt'

Picture: James Hardisty. Words: John Blow.

Picture: James Hardisty.
Picture: James Hardisty.

Frankie Dettori called him an equine Usain Bolt, a horse who “destroys the field by a big distance and has never let anyone down”.

It’s not for no reason that Frankel is ranked the best racehorse of all time.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The 14-time unbeaten winner was given an official rating of 140 when he retired in 2012 – an achievement that no horse has since matched.

One of those wins was with jockey Tom Queally at York Racecourse in August 2012, which is now where this bronze tribute, created by sculptor Mark Coreth, proudly stands. It is one of a set of four, with the other three sited at the National Museum of Horse Racing, Newmarket, and Banstead Manor Stud.

Frankel – named in honour of late American trainer Robert Frankel – was trained by the late Sir Henry Cecil, and owned and bred by the late Saudi Prince Khalid bin Abdullah, who founded Juddmonte at Newmarket.

Frankel was born in February 2008, the son of the 2001 Epsom Derby winner Galileo. His dam, Kind, also won six races during her career, according to Great British Racing, which says he won £2,998,302 in prize money in total.

Dettori said: “He’s like Usain Bolt – a true athlete. When he gets on the track, he just blitzes everything else.” Actually, at his top speed Frankel reached 43mph and could finish the 100m in 5.2 seconds – almost half Bolt’s record time.

The Italian star jockey, quoted by the BBC in 2012, added: “I haven’t seen his face; I only see his backside. But even if you do get beat, you have to admire him and clap him. I’m a sportsman and I really appreciate him being around. We have been blessed. I’ve been riding 25 years. We’ve seen some great horses and he’s one of them. What he has done in our sport is fantastic.”

The life-size bronze status in 2015 marked the completion of the £10m Northern End redevelopment at York Racecourse.

The next big fixture at York is the John Smith’s Cup Meeting on July 9 and 10.

Technical details: Nikon D5 camera with a Nikon 70-200mm lens, exposure of 1/250th second at f/9, ISO 50.