Sir Henry Cecil bade farewell to Frankel as the world’s best racehorse left his Warren Place stable in Newmarket to begin his new career as a stallion.
The four-year-old colt made the short journey to his birthplace Banstead Manor Stud where he will take up stallion duties in 2013.
“There is no doubt Frankel has been a brilliant racehorse. I am pretty certain that there has never been a better or more talented thoroughbred,” said Cecil.
“He had the speed to be a champion sprinter and then, once he grew up and settled, he got a distance with a turn of foot that makes champions.
“Today is a sad day in some ways for us as he has given us so much pleasure over the last three years.
“But I want to thank Frankel for so much – for being such a very special part of my training career.
“Thank you, Frankel.”
The son of Galileo left the racing scene with an unbeaten record of 14, his final racecourse appearance coming in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot last month.
The champion thoroughbred received an equally warm welcome at Banstead Manor from the Juddmonte team, including general manager Philip Mitchell, farm manager Simon Mockridge and head stallion man Rob Bowley.
“In the foaling unit on February 11th 2008 at 11.40pm, little did we realise that we were witnessing the birth of a phenomenal racehorse,” Mitchell said.
“The rest, as they say, is history and it is now extremely exciting that Frankel will be returning to the Stallion Unit at Banstead, some 500 yards from where he was born.”
Frankel will serve the best mares, with potential partners including the unbeaten Australian mare Black Caviar and Midday, who spent her racing days at the Cecil stable.