Inside the mind of world's greatest horse Flightline – a padded stall, kicking the walls and staring at the stars | The Sun

EVERY great athlete has a quirk or two about them.

And the same is true of the brilliant racehorse Flightline – who is ranked the best in the world.

The four-year-old is unbeaten and earlier this year replaced Baaeed as the top-rated horse on the planet after an incredible 19-length win in a Grade 1.

He is the star attraction at the £24 million Breeders' Cup meeting, which kicks off on Friday night at Keeneland racecourse in the USA.

And, it turns out, the horse is also a bit of a star-gazer in his spare time.

Work rider Juan Leyva, the lucky man who gets to ride Flightline every day, gave a fascinating insight into the mind of the world's best horse.


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From the moment he wakes up in the morning he wants to get out of his stable and get on with his day.

If he isn't taken out to the gallops bright and early, he will start kicking out in frustration.

You hear of trainers wanting to wrap their best horses in cotton wool – and John Sadler did just that by having padded walls installed in Flightline's box to stop him injuring himself.

And when he is out in the fresh air early in the morning, he likes to take a moment each day to stare out into the vast starry sky.

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Levya explained: "If we don't get him out on the track early in the morning he will start kicking the walls in his stall.

"Once we get him out he is as calm as can be – he just needs to be out and about early in the morning.

"He will stop and look up at the sky and stare at the stars, contemplating what he is going to do that morning.

"On the morning of his big win last time he was gazing into space for a long time – he is very mellow and must have known what he was going to do that day."

And what's it like to ride the best horse in the world?

Levya said: "Riding him is like driving a muscle car but with a luxury car body.

"It's so smooth, you don't feel any vibration, but there is a hell of a lot of power under the surface.

"He likes to have his own space, he doesn't like it when other horses are too close to him.

"If they do get to close he will turn around and swish his tail, and if they still don't move away he will kick out until they move.

"He is an amazing character and it is an honour to be associated with him."


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