As Frankel goes for his 13th straight victory in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York’s Ebor Meeting this afternoon, here are 13 fun facts about the top racehorse.
- The first of Frankel’s 12 victories was on Friday 13th – in August 2010
- His trainer Sir Henry Cecil is superstitious – he salutes single magpies, flies the family flag every time he has a Group One winner and used to fill up with petrol every time he went to the races
- The horse’s four white feet defy the old horse dealers’ proverb which advises “four white feet, go home without him”
- His star sign is Aquarius as he was born on 11 February. Apparently Aquarians are “trailblazers who don’t follow the crowd
- He’s brought only bad luck to bookmakers having started favourite in all 12 of his races. In the last eleven Frankel has started at odds-on.
- Half a length is the nearest any other horse has got near him in his 12 winning races – while his greatest winning distance has been 13 lengths
- Frankel has won from stall three on five occasions. Will stall seven be lucky today?
- The International has been a hoodoo race for odds-on favourites, with 11 of the 17 odds-on shots getting turned-over. Frankel is certain to start as odds-on favourite.
- In the inaugural running of the Juddmonte International in 1972, the unbeaten champion Brigadier Gerard was defeated by the Derby winner, Roberto. This was his only defeat in his 18-race career.
- Tom Queally, Frankel’s regular jockey, rode his first winner on 13 April 2000.
- Frankel is the most valuable horse on the planet, estimated to be worth £100 million once he retires to stud. Owners of the lucky brood mares he’ll cover can expect to pay £100,000 a time
- The four-year-old’s owner, Prince Khalid Abdullah, has sponsored the Juddmonte International since 1989 but it’s not been a lucky race for him, having won it only once (last year with Twice Over) despite having runners on 12 occasions
- Frankel’s reputation tends to scare off the opposition. In the second race of his career, he faced just two other runners and the average number of runners in his race has been seven. The largest field was for the 2011 2000 Guineas when 13 horses went to post.
The race will be shown on Channel 4 at 3.40pm today.