Who are the top five horse of all time?
When discussing the greatest racehorses of all time, no list is complete without mentioning Grand National hero Red Rum.
The son of Quorum won the world’s greatest steeplechase on three occasions and finished second twice. His first victory came in 1973 with Brian Fletcher, who sadly passed away earlier this year.
His initial success came as an eight-year-old and that would have been enough for most animals but the ever-popular gelding returned to defend his title the following year.
Two near misses followed but, despite a change of jockey, Red Rum claimed Merseyside honours an incredible third time in 1977 under Tommy Stack.
He reached the grand old age of 30 before passing away and was buried at the Aintree winning post – a fitting resting place for a legend of jumps racing.
While winning the National is considered the pinnacle of the sport for many, the Cheltenham Festival and, in particular, the meeting’s blue riband event, the Gold Cup, is the one that all owners and trainers want to win.
Few achieve that feat but Best Mate won the Prestbury Park showpiece an amazing three times, in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
Henrietta Knight’s charge always seemed to save his best for the Festival and was in a class of his own until his untimely death from a heart attack at Exeter Racecourse in 2005.
The son of Un Desperado never fell at a hurdle or fence and won 14 of his 22 stars, finishing second another seven times, with his only time out of the top two in the contest when he tragically lost his life.
Irish legend Arkle captured the imagination of the public in the 1960s and also won the Cheltenham Gold Cup three times.
Trained by the late Tom Dreaper, the gelding also claimed the King George VI Chase, the Irish Grand National and a couple of Hennessy Gold Cup’s among others and now has a race at the Festival named after him.
He sadly had to be put down at the age of 13 due to illness but carved his name in Irish and British racing with some scintillating displays.
Flat racing has also seen its fair share of star performers and it is tough to pick the greatest, but it is hard to look past Frankel.
The son of Galileo is considered by many pundits to be the greatest racehorse in the history of British thoroughbred racing.
He won all 14 of his starts, including eleven Group One wins with the 2,000 Guineas among them.
A specialist miler, Henry Cecil’s charge never raced in the Derby but won just about everything else on offer and is now enjoying himself in stud.
His offspring have already started racing and are shaping up nicely as they try to emulate their father.
Of horses still racing, it could be argued that Willie Mullins’ Douvan is top of the tree.
The French bred seven-year-old has won 13 from 13 and is nine from nine over fences, with a tilt at this year’s Queen Mother Champion Chase next on the agenda.
While SBAT’s daily Cheltenham tips may help pick a winner, it’ll be tough to look past Douvan, who is generally priced at 2/7 and will surely go down as legend of jumps racing when the dust settles on his career.