Altior’s 18th victory on the bounce puts him right up there with the most successful horses of recent times. We look back on five of the best across both codes of racing:
Big Buck’s – 18 races
Never has an unseated rider been such a stroke of luck as when Sam Thomas was dislodged from Big Buck’s in the 2008 Hennessy Gold Cup. That mishap saw Paul Nicholls revert back to hurdles with his charge – and a star was born, with Big Buck’s going unbeaten from January 2009 until December 2012. Four Stayers’ Hurdles featured among his 10 Grade One wins, with the gelding bowing out in 2014 after failing in his bid for a fifth Cheltenham title.
Sir Ken – 17 races
One of the handful of three-time Champion Hurdle winners, Sir Ken won his first 17 races, including his first two Cheltenham successes. Trained by Willie Stephenson, the French-bred was one of the stars of the early 1950s, and he remained top dog in the National Hunt sphere until Big Buck’s came along to surpass his record winning sequence in 2012.
Winx – 31 and counting
Australian superstar Winx has not been beaten since April 2015, recording a world record 23rd Group One win at Randwick earlier this month. Chris Waller’s charge also has the distinction of being the only four-time winner of the Cox Plate, Australia’s premier weight for age race, with a crack at a fifth title not totally ruled out later this year.
Black Caviar – 25 races
Winx superseded Australia’s previous darling Black Caviar, who bowed out unbeaten in her 25 career starts in April 2013. Trained by Peter Moody, Black Caviar nearly saw her flawless record ended when travelling to Royal Ascot in 2012, with rider Luke Nolen easing up a few strides early before the champion found a little extra to win by a head.
Frankel – 14 races
Sir Henry Cecil’s champion hardly needs an introduction after a stellar career that saw him retire to the breeding sheds with a 100 per cent strike rate. From his maiden win at Newmarket, Frankel hardly looked back – racking up 10 Group One wins, including a pillar-to-post success in the 2000 Guineas, an 11-length romp in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and a masterclass on his final start in the Champion Stakes.