Jessica Chapel / Railbird

Frantasticulous

The Champion Stakes wasn’t Frankel’s most brilliant win (replay), but it didn’t have to be. His winning margin was 1 3/4 lengths, well below his average, and the provisional ratings of 139 from Timeform and 137 from Racing Post put the race slightly below his best. But he exits a perfect 14-for-14, and that’s what everyone in the stands at Ascot was there to see.

Sad as his retirement might be, take comfort that Frankel will endure:

One day far in the future, after all those who will watch his final race at Ascot are gone, a horse may win a Classic at Epsom or maybe Newmarket, and someone in the grandstand will trace through its pedigree, come upon the name of Frankel and think to themselves: “Ah, the mighty Frankel. Now there’s a horse I’d have loved to see racing.”

Today, though, wouldn’t you like to hug Frankel too?

I’ve enjoyed every moment of it,” says rider Tom Queally. So have we.

3:10 PM Addendum: Love this detail from Sporting Life’s Champions Day live blog: “Even the Queen hung around to look at this incredible beast.”

10/21/12 See Also: From the BBC, facts about Frankel, such as, his total winning margin in 14 races was 76.25 lengths.