Frankel has galloped away with my vote

Frankel: simply the greatest racehorse we have ever seen

RANDALL NORTHAM, sports book publisher and treasurer of the SJA, wanted to cast his vote for the British Sports Awards for someone head and shoulders above all rivals

There is really only one sporting figure from 2012 that stands head and shoulders above the rest – literally – in this astonishing year of sport.

He’d be useless at collecting any award on December 6, though at least he could take advantage of the grazing available in the moat at our new venue in the Tower of London.

I’m referring, of course, to Frankel the wonder horse. Even in this year of the Olympics and Tour de France victories, the racehorse’s feats stand out. He finished his career unbeaten in 14 races – five in 2012 – and of other horses in British racing history, only Ribot won more in an unbeaten career.

Where Frankel bettered Ribot was in winning 10 Group 1s in a row. No horse has ever done better than that.

Sir Henry Cecil in the winner’s enclosure, where else?, with Frankel

Timeform rated him at 147, their highest ever ranking, and watching him gallop was an awe inspiring privilege.

But Frankel won’t win at the SJA Sports Awards. We don’t have a category for horses. Given the successes of the Olympic dressage, show-jumping and eventing teams, perhaps we should look into it.

Maybe Sir Henry Cecil, Frankel’s trainer, or Tom Queally, his jockey, should win but, with respect, they are only the coach and the pilot. Frankel did the work.

So, for me, it’ll have to be Bradley Wiggins. Victory in the Tour de France and the Olympic road time trial – both firsts by a British rider – gives him the edge over Mo Farah, the first Brit to win 5000 or 10,000 metres.

JOIN THE SJA and benefit from a recognised press card, priority entry to key events and significant discounts and members offers on a range of activities


Thu Dec 6: 2012 SJA British Sports Awards. An Olympic year extravaganza at the Tower of London. Click here for more details, news of members’ discounts and a booking form.