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Picture: Sea The Stars winning the Arc in 2009 ( 

It is one of the ironies of horseracing that breeders aim to produce horses who perform on the racecourse, but when an exceptional one is produced they are usually withdrawn quite quickly for breeding purposes.

South African owners, thankfully, are not too quick on the draw in this regard and the possible Horse Of The Year Jet Dark will still be running at the age of five this season.

He also took in the hardest task in SA racing, running in the Hollywoodbets Durban July with topweight.

Likewise, racing fans around the world will be hoping out aloud that the brilliant Baaeed will follow in the footsteps of his sire Sea The Stars and run in  the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, the highest rated race in the world according to the International Federation Of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA). 
The aim of any top sportsman in the world is to test himself/herself against the best on the highest stage.
However, the best horse in the world might be withdrawn before doing so.
Presumably this is because an unblemished record might be blemished.
That is why there should be more debate on who was greater, Frankel or Sea The Stars?
Frankel was supreme in all of his races, but he avoided the biggest stage of all, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Sea The Stars did not and, despite pulling in the running and then twice having to be switched in the straight when in a seemingly impossible position, he still won  by two lengths.
Frankel was supreme over a mile and then proved himself supreme over ten furlongs in both the Juddmonte International and the Champion Stakes at Ascot.
However, Sea The Stars in his unbeaten run of six successive Group 1s as a three-year-old not only won the 2000 Guineas, but also two of the world’s most prestigious mile-and-a-half races, the Derby and the Arc. 
His other three wins were the Coral Eclipse, the Juddmonte and the Irish Champion Stakes, all over about ten furlongs.
Frankel fans will point to his wide margin victories. He did not beat the opposition, he humiliated them.
There is no doubt he himself deserves to be called the best horse ever. 
However, his owners avoided both the Derby and the Arc probably over fears he would not see out the trip.
Baaeed’s participation in the Arc has always seemed unlikely.
However, Angus Gold, racing manager to Baaeed’s owners Shadwell, hinted there was a chance it might happen.
“Mishriff is a top-class horse and to beat him like that is very exciting.”, he said,  “I’m certainly not going to say I’ve been involved with a better one.”
“To my eyes, he ran right through the line. I don’t want to put any wrong but I’d be surprised if he didn’t stay a mile-and-a-half on what he did yesterday.
“It comes late in the season and they’ve all been on the go a long time. It’s the greatest race in the world in my view and I’d be surprised if he didn’t go an extra furlong-and-a-half if it came to it.”
Seb Sanders, a former champion jockey, gave his opinion:
“After how relaxed he was, they may have to think about the Arc. I haven’t seen anything in the Arc that can beat him.
“I found that amazing the way he went through that race. He was an incredibly fresh horse at the line.
“I think the Arc will be on the peripheral if the ground is good or better.”
It would rob the Arc of some of its pizzazz if he did not appear. 
Imagine a horse who could win the Derby, the Arc and the Breeders Cup Classic (run on dirt and the second highest rated race in the world).
That would be like the Federer or Djokovic of racing.
Golden Horn won the Derby and the Arc and was narrowly defeated on unsuitable soft ground in the Breeders Cup turf.
Ironically it might have been his narrow defeat in the Juddmonte that allowed owner Anthony Oppenheimer, a second cousin of Mary Slack’s, to throw caution to the wind and go for those big races.
However, sending champions to stud at the height of their powers is not at all a modern phenomenon.
The great 1881-born legend St. Simon only ran nine races, winning all of them, before being retired to stud. The wisdom of that decision is written in history as he became one of the most successful and influential sires in thoroughbred history.