Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 11:07 26/08/2012
The debate over whether Frankel should, or should not, have his next outing in France's Qipco Prix De 'Arc De Triomphe at Longchamp on the first Sunday in October, will fill the sport's pages of most newspapers over the coming weeks.
While the vast majority of horseracing ( and non-horseracing ) enthusiasts will be hoping the sports' greatest asset will attempt to emulate other all-time greats such as Sea-Bird, Ribot and Dancing Brave, by winning europe's richest race, those closest to this remarkable equine great have long expressed a desire for the four-year-old's last two races to be the Juddmonte International at York followed by the Champion Stakes at Ascot in October.
Such was the authority shown by Frankel in the first of those races, covering more than two furlongs further than previously asked, the mile and a half trip of the Arc seems well within the superstar's capabilities. While Ascot's Group 1 contest would appear to be there for the taking, granted all being well with the son of Galileo in two months time, a strong case can be made for a day trip to Paris in the meantime.
Ever since Camelot won the first two colt's classics of the season there has existed an air of anticipation at the prospect of both horses meeting at some point. What a race the 2012 Arc would be, if, providing Aidan O'Brien's charge was victorious in the St Leger, the first horse to win the triple crown for over forty years was to take on possibly the greatest horse anyone alive today has ever seen. Add to that the runaway winner of last years' contest ( Danedream ) and the mouth begins to water.
Whatever route the remainder of the season has in store for Frankel, it will have a significant impact on how the horse is assessed in the annuls of horseracing history. One thing all lovers of this great sport does not want, is to forever wonder " what if " regarding what this truely unbelievable animal was really capable of.
So far his natural ability has enabled him to reach new heights that few of us thought possible, and victory in the Bois du Boulogne would raise that bar further still.
The thought that Frankel may get beat, through lack of stamina or by being over the top ( has been on the go since the Lockinge in May ), should not enter the head when the final decision is made, as no one can take away what has already been achieved, and defeat should not be treated as the enemy.
In the year that Nijinsky became the last horse to win the triple crown ( 1970 ) Joni Mitchell wrote a song with the lyrics " you don't know what you've got till it's gone " , lets hope no one can say that about Frankel when his amazing career finally comes to an end later this year.