Australia: There was an outcry from Australian racing fans after British superstar Frankel won the first-ever virtual running of the Ladbrokes Cox Plate.
Four-time Cox Plate winner Winx could finish only third, the highest-placed Australian horse, in the Ladbrokes Greatest Ever Cox Plate in which US great Secretariat took second place.
Angry Australians took to Twitter to call the result “an insult”, “ridiculous”, “a joke” and “humiliating” as other local legends such as Phar Lap were back in seventh.
Trained by Sir Henry Cecil and owned by Khalid Abdullah Frankel finished his career unbeaten on the racetrack and now holds a perfect record in animated racing.
The innovative race was created to make the 100th running of the actual Ladbrokes Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
The 14-runner field was compiled using Timeform data and featured 11 of the race’s greatest winners such as Winx, Phar Lap, Tulloch and Kingston Town plus three overseas stars in Frankel, Secretariat and Deep Impact.
But the former race winners were found wanting as Frankel caught Secretariat with Winx, who went off the virtual race favourite, running on late to take third, from Tulloch in fourth.
The race was created by Inspired Entertainment, the UK-based leaders in sports animation who were behind the virtual Grand National and virtual Kentucky Derby.
The full finishing order was: Frankel, Secretariat, Winx, Tulloch, Might And Power, So You Think, Phar Lap, Sunline, Kingston Town, Tobin Bronze, Northerly, Deep Impact, Gunsynd, Dulcify.