Frankel: retired after winning the Champion Stakes at Ascot in OctoberPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Frankel top of the tree as Brave is downgraded
FRANKEL has been confirmed as the best horse since official classifications began in 1977 after Dancing Brave's previous high of 141 was downgraded 3lb by World Thoroughbred Rankings handicappers on Tuesday.
That leaves Frankel at the top of the pile on 140 after Alleged and Shergar were dropped from that mark to 134 and 136.
In October it was revealed the 141 allotted to Dancing Brave for his brilliant Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe success in 1986 was in part awarded as a present for retiring handicapper David Swannell.
Modern-day assessors have, however, revised that rating and Frankel, unbeaten in a 14-race career which included ten Group 1 wins, now stands alone.
"Frankel is the new benchmark for equine excellence," said Garry O'Gorman, senior handicapper of the Turf Club and co-chairman of the World Rankings Supervisory Committee.
The WTR, which started as the International Classifications in 1977, were revealed in a London hotel on Tuesday and featured Cirrus Des Aigles, runner-up to Frankel in the Champion Stakes in October, in second place on the list on 131, 1lb higher than crack miler Excelebration and star sprinter Black Caviar.
Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another, whose career ended through injury before he could bid for Triple Crown glory in the Belmont Stakes, was best three-year-old colt.
However, his mark of 125 - 1lb higher than Camelot and Gold Ship - is the lowest in the history of the rankings for the division.
Godolphin took the honours in the juvenile categories with Dewhurst hero Dawn Approach (124) topping the colts' list and Fillies Mile winner Certify (114) best of the two-year-old fillies.