Off the Bit Vol 25…Unbeaten Champions

Jul 05, 2017

Sport rarely produces an ‘Unbeaten’ Champion. Competition in all sports is fierce and to remain on top of the pile and never be beaten is an incredible feat. Being an unbeaten Racehorse is especially rare due to many more variables than human sports such as; opposition, track conditions, injuries, jockeys etc.

There have only been 23 recorded Unbeaten Champions of 10 or more races since the beginning of racing. Only 2 have remained Unbeaten in more than 20 starts.

The list of these Equine Wonder Horses can be found at the end of this article.

The Great Unbeaten Horses:

  • KINCSEM ~ was the most successful Thoroughbredrace horse ever, having won an incredible 54 races from 54 starts. Foaled in Hungary in 1874, she is a national icon, and is revered in other parts of the world, too. Over four seasons she won all her races against both female and male company at various race tracks across Europe, a record still un-matched. Kincsem won all 10 starts as a 2yo in Hungary and Austria. At 3 she went 17 for 17 including big race wins in Germany. At 4yo she travelled to England and won the Goodwood Cup and then to France for the Grand Pre de Deauville. She raced on as a 5yo winning the Hungarian Oaks for the 3rd time at her 54th and last start. At stud, Kincsem produced 5 foals of which 3 raced. 2 of her sons won Derbies/St Legers with the other winner also placing in the Derby.
  • BLACK CAVIAR ~ our very own legend is the next most winning unbeaten horse having saluted in all 25 starts. Black Caviar won Gr 1’s in 4 states of Australia and also at Royal Ascot in England. Racing from 2yo until 6yo Black Caviar would win 15 Gr 1’s and be named Australia’s Horse of the Year 3 times and the World’s Champion Sprinter an incredible 4 times. She won just shy of $8 Million and her 1strunner has been placed at it’s only start. I guess in 20 years time we will truly appreciate how fortunate we were to see her race.
  • ECLIPSE ~ was truly the first equine superstar. Foaled in 1764 during a Solar Eclipse (hence the name), he would race a total of 18 times for 18 victories (this does not include the heats he won on 7 different occasions). It is said he was never headed and never seriously challenged in any race. His 18 wins covered 63 miles and he walked over 1400 miles to get to his races…wow… Eclipse was retired to stud simply because he was too good. No one would race their horses against him and the book makers refused to bet when he raced. At stud he was a sensation siring many great horses and future stallions. Some 250 years after he raced, he appears in the pedigree of most great horses racing today.
  • RIBOT ~ was born in England but trained in Italy. Undefeated in 16 races, he won over all distances, from 1000m to 3000m in three countries and on all types of track conditions. He was the best Italian two-year-old of 1954, when his three wins included the Gran Criterium. He won his first four races of 1955 in Italy before being sent to France where he won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. The following year he was even better, recording wide-margin victories in both the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakesand the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Ribot was then retired to stud where he proved to be a Champion Stallion.
  • Watch his final win in the Arc
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RQuqKVJvII
  • COLIN ~ raced in America in 1907-1908 and won 15 from 15. He started 12 times as a 2yo and won them all becoming the first ever 2yo to be crowned Horse of the Year. He returned at 3 and won; the Withers, Belmont and Tidal Stakes. Colin then travelled to England to race but broke down in a gallop and was retired. He again was named US Horse of the Year. Colin had fertility issues at stud and only sired 81 foals in 23 seasons at stud. Incredibly, 11 were Stakes Winners giving him a 14% SW to Foal ratio ~ these figures are rarely approached. Colin won $180,000 which equates to about $4.5 Million in 2017.
  • FRANKEL ~ had a racing career of just 14 starts for 14 winsspread over a mere 26 months. He may well be the greatest horse of all time, certainly Timeform have rated him as such. He had 4 starts at 2 and won them all including the Gr 1 Dewhurst Stakes. Considered a ‘Miler’ Frankel was not aimed at the Derby and was confined to 1400m – 1600m events. After a 1st up win in a Gr 3 Frankel would start a 9 run Gr 1 odyssey in the Guineas. He would have 5 starts at 3, winning them all easily. At 4 he raced 5 times with his final 2 wins at 2000m. His win in the Queen Anne, by 11 lengths, was breathtaking. His last win over 2000m was gritty and sealed his greatness.

Soon I will write an article of the Champions who lost just once, that list is almost as impressive as this one…##Note- Puerto Rican Superstar CAMARERO holds the record for the most consecutive wins ever, winning 56 times in a row in a record of 76 starts for 73 wins.

54KincsemHungarych m1874Cambuscan (GB) x Water Nymph by Cotswold[9]
25Black CaviarAustraliabr m2006Bel Esprit x Helsinge by Desert Sun (GB)[10]
19Peppers PrideUnited StatesB.f.2003Desert God x Lady Pepper by Chili Pepper Pie[11]
18EclipseGreat BritainCh.c.1764Marske x Spilletta by Regulus[12][13][14]
18KarayelTurkeyB.h.1970Prince Tudor (GB) x Linda (TUR) by Cihangir (GB). Triple Crown winner.[15]
16OrmondeGreat BritainB.c.1883Bend Or x Lily Agnes by Macaroni. Triple Crown winner.[16][17]
16PrestigeFranceb c1903Le Pompon x Orgueilleuse by Révérand[18]
16RibotGreat BritainB.c.1952Tenerani (ITY) x Romanella (ITY) by El Greco[19]
15ColinUnited StatesBr.c.1905Commando x Pastorella (GB) by Springfield[20]
15MaconArgentinac.1922Sandal (GB) x Bourgogne by Your Majesty[21]
14FrankelGreat BritainB.c.2008Galileo x Kind by Danehill[22]
14HighflyerGreat BritainB.c.1774Herod x Rachel by Blank[23]
14NearcoItalyBr.c.1935Pharos (GB) x Nogara by Havresac II(FR)
13BarcaldineGreat BritainB.c.1878Solon x Ballyroe by Belladrum
13Personal EnsignUnited StatesB.f.1984Private Account x Grecian Banner by Hoist The Flag[24]
13TremontUnited StatesB.c.1884Virgil x Ann Fief by Alarm
12AsteroidUnited StatesB.c.1861Lexington x Nebula by Glencoe (GB)[25]
12BraqueItalyB.h.1954Antonio Canale x Buonamica by Niccolò dell’Arca[26]
12CrucifixGreat BritainB.f.1837Priam x Octaviana by Octavian[27]
11GoldfinderGreat BritainB.c.1764Snap x mare by Blank[28]
11Kurifuji (Toshifuji)JapanCh.f.1940Tournesol (GB) x Kenfuji by Chapel Brampton (GB)
10NereideGermanyB.f.1933Laland x Nella da Gabbio (ITY) by Grand Parade (GB)[29]
10Tokino MinoruJapanB.c.1948