By Paul Majendie
ASCOT, England (Reuters) - Frankel, the world's top-ranked race horse, maintained his unbeaten record on Saturday with a hard-fought win in his final race at the Champion Stakes.
Frankel made it 14 out of 14 in his stunning three-year career but he had to fight in the Ascot heavy going to wear down the tough French veteran Cirrus Des Aigles by one and three quarter-lengths.
"He will retire today. He has run his last race," Saudi Arabian owner Prince Khalid Abdullah told Reuters after Frankel and trainer Henry Cecil were given a standing ovation following the emotionally-charged victory.
Cecil, who has praised the horse for helping to sustain his battle against cancer, told reporters: "He's the best I've ever had, the best I've ever seen."
Frankel missed the break coming out of the stalls and then was tucked in fourth by the unflappable Tom Queally but he pulled out to take the lead in the final furlong to land the glittering prize, to the ecstatic delight of the 35,000 racegoers.
"He's getting more and more relaxed as time goes on. His class really showed today," said Queally.
"I walked the track and was worried about the conditions, but I walked the final straight and knew it wasn't too heavy."
(Editing by Tom Pilcher)
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