We see this bandied around a lot, sometimes by owners who retire stud prospects early, and sometimes by snarky posters who see something else behind another reason for retirement. But I have always wondered...is there a point where saying a horse has nothing more to prove is relatively correct?
Of course, there is always "something" - they could try four furlongs, or two miles, or hurdles! - but I guess being reasonable about what a top-class performer would have to do to truly earn that title within their range.
I'd say a horse like Cigar earned that title. Traveled and won and never really turned down a challenge.
Without sparking a fight, Big Z did go to the biggest dance two years in a row, and her showings in the Classics earned her a huge amount of respect.
Goldikova is another. In her element, her connections have always gone up to fight.
Or are those not enough? Would you want to see a horse try and succeed on all surfaces before getting close enough?