The two best horses I have actually seen race in the flesh have been Frankel and Black Caviar but Kingston Town whom I only saw on Television was an absolute freak as well.
I find it hard to split all three, they were wonderful thoroughbreds but possessed different attributes.
However on Timeform ratings, the unbeaten Frankel is a clear winner, sitting on 147 making him the highest rated horse in Timeform history and two pounds clear of another great from the past Sea Bird. A winner of all 14 race starts in distances raging from 1408m to 2092m including 10 at Group One level, Frankel’s win in the G1 2012 Queen Anne Stakes over 1 mile at Royal Ascot was the most amazing performance I have seen on a racetrack.
A son of another champion Galileo, Frankel under normal rider Tom Queally demolished a quality field by 11 lengths, defeating Excelebration and Side Glance. The collateral form from the race says it all with Excelebration then going on to France to win the G1 Jacques Le Marois over 1 mile then the British Champions Mile at Ascot. Franke’s ability to cruise at high speeds then still accelerate off those speeds made him a spectacular racehorse, the likes of whom we are unlikely to see again. Unfortunately he did not race outside of Britain. Australia’s Black Caviar is the equal highest Timeform rated filly or mare in the history of Timeform, sitting alongside Habibti and Allez France with a Timeform rating of 136.
The giant unbeaten mare won all 25 race starts, including 15 at Group One level, a record for any horse racing in Australia since group race classifications were introduced in the 1970’s.
Black Caviar won at Group one level in four Australian States (Qld, NSW, Vic and SA) but her most impressive effort for me was her head victory at Royal Ascot in the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Stakes where she held out classy French mare Moonlight Cloud.
Clearly lengths below her best and suffering from injury, Black Caviar showed a brand of courage that only true champions possess. In Australia she had memorable clashes with another crack sprinter Hay List who was the only horse capable of making her work in a race. The pair’s clash in the 2012 G1 Lightning Stakes was perhaps her hardest race in Australia.
Kingston Town Timeform rated 137 was a vastly underestimated galloper who would have easily held his own in any company had he been given the opportunity to race overseas.Trained by Tommy Smith, Kingston Town won 30 of his 41 race starts, 14 at Group one level.
In one campaign Kingston Town showed his versatility winning at 1200m, 1400m, 2000m, 2400m, 2200m and 3200m. (Sydney Cup, AJC Derby, Queensland Derby, Grand Prix Stakes, BMW Stakes). After getting to the lead at the top of the Flemington home straight, Kingston Town was just beaten in the 1982 Melbourne Cup under 59ks by Gurner’s Lane who was aided by a rails hugging ride by Mick Dittman.
Kingston Town remains the only horse in history to win three Cox Plates at Moonee Valley.His longest winning sequence was 11 but also had the distinction of 21 consecutive wins on Sydney race tracks.In 1980 he was described by the late Robert Sangster as the best racehorse in the world.