Who was Robert J. Frankel?

Of course, the name ‘Frankel’ is well known in horse racing circles as the name of the horse that retired from racing, unbeaten in fourteen races, in October, 2012 and was subsequently named the highest-rated horse in the history of World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings and Timeform. Owned by Khalid bin Abdullah Al Saud and trained by the late Sir Henry Cecil, Frankel was named in honour of the late Robert Julian Frankel, who died of leukemia, at the age of 68, in 2009.

Robert Frankel, affectionately known as ‘Bobby’, was one of the most successful American racehorse trainers in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. He won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer five times, in 1993, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003. Indeed, in 2003, Frankel saddled 25 winners at the highest Grade One level, thereby setting a world record for a single season, which would last until 2017, when surpassed by Aidan O’Brien.