Insider

The incomparable Frankel plus a photo of the day our Joan went to see him.

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Frankel has been acknowledged to be an elite sire for so long now that it’s easy to forget the brouhaha that once attended every stage of his second career at stud.

 

Never in my professional lifetime has a horse’s progress as a stallion been monitored so obsessively. In fact, after he retired to Banstead Manor Stud in 2013 the Racing Post launched Frankel Watch. No pressure there, then.

 

A double-page splash around the first day of the breeding season marked the fact that he had settled into his new surroundings, had already shown an appetite for the job at hand by successfully covering a test mare, and was about to be mated properly for the first time with the great Midday that morning.

 

Just over a fortnight later, the news of the first mare in foal to Frankel – Coolmore’s dual Group 3 winner Chrysanthemum – was eagerly reported across the racing and bloodstock media.

 

But that wasn’t enough to slake the thirst of racing fans for Frankel news so soon after the charismatic colt had retired unbeaten, recognised as possibly the best racehorse of all time. 

 

There was no way they would be able to wait until the following year when the mares would foal for the next update on their hero, and so Juddmonte’s then general manager Philip Mitchell kindly and patiently spelt out the details of the young sire’s debut breeding season to Racing Post readers that July.

 

He reported that Frankel had covered 133 mares and that, of those, 126 had been scanned in foal at a rate of 95 per cent. The figure was all the more impressive for the fact that six of the seven mares not in foal had been pregnant before suffering early foetal deaths.

 

His stellar first book had included 38 Group or Grade 1 winners and 26 dams of Group or Grade 1 winners, with two mares, Zee Zee Top and Zomaradah, fitting in both categories. Juddmonte had sent him 24 of its own mares.

 

Soon after came news of the first mares being covered to southern-hemisphere time in Newmarket that summer, including John Singleton’s top-class pair More Joyous and More Strawberries, and a few months later came the announcements of the in-foal European mares being catalogued for the breeding-stock sales.

 

One was Chrysanthemum, who was knocked down to Haras Don Alberto for 800,000gns at Tattersalls that December, although she was upstaged at the auction by Oaks heroine Dancing Rain, who also had a positive pregnancy to the dual world champion, and was sold to Godolphin for 4,000,000gns.

 

Frankel Watch resumed in 2014 with the arrival of the first foal, a bay colt out of the by-then household name Chrysanthemum, at Coolmore on January 11. A scramble ensued to procure pictures of the world-famous newborn.

 

That was only the first male progeny, though; clearly a separate report was needed when the sire’s first filly, a daughter of the well-bred Sadler’s Wells mare Song, was born at the National Stud a short time afterwards. Photos of her were widely circulated.

 

Proud breeders continued to dripfeed news of bonny Frankel foals being born in the early months of 2014. A particularly sweet picture of Danedream doting on her freshly born filly took up most of the front page of the Racing Post one day that January, demoting an important industry story about FOBTs to a narrow strip.

 

At that point, most people had seen only selected pictures of Frankel foals, but that all changed in June when it was revealed that Qatar Racing would sell a colt out of Crystal Gaze with his dam at the inaugural Goffs London Sale. As recalled in Friday’s Good Morning Bloodstock, footage of the pair being sold made the BBC News at Ten. They really were heady times for racing.

 

The sale of the Crystal Gaze colt did little to dampen enthusiasm for the bulk of the commercially bred Frankel foals who came under the hammer later in the year, although many experts at the sales gave them a bit of a tepid reception. The filly out of Finsceal Beo topped the Goffs November Foal Sale at €1.8 million, at least.

 

Frankel Watch in 2015 concerned itself with the second-crop foals – yes, in this case, even they were newsworthy – and the first yearlings to go through the ring. Again, the market’s surprising coolness towards them was a major talking point of the time, although the €1.7m sale of a filly out of Alexander Goldrun at Goffs provided some welcome headlines.

 

The excitement surrounding Frankel’s first two-year-olds was already incredibly high in the spring of 2016 and it was cranked up to 11 when his very first runner, Chrysanthemum’s son Cunco, won on debut for John Gosden at Newbury in mid-May, despite acting a little coltily in the preliminaries. 

 

A first stakes winner came not long after, when Juddmonte homebred Fair Eva bolted up in the Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot in July, and a debut top-level scorer was recorded before the end of the year, as Soul Stirring, a Japanese-foaled daughter of Stacelita, took the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies.

 

In the following year Soul Stirring also became Frankel’s first Classic winner in the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks). Later in 2017 Cracksman, who had gone close in the Derby and Irish Derby, became the sire’s first European Group 1 winner in the Champion Stakes. 

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He became champion sire in Britain and Ireland for the first time in 2021, and regained his crown last year, when Cracksman supplied the unbeaten champion Ace Impact from his own first crop.

 

Seven years and 140 black-type winners since Fair Eva – Delius became the latest when scoring decisively in the Prix du Lys at Chantilly yesterday – Frankel is no longer scrutinised as a sire. It is now taken for granted that he is an outstanding source of top-class horses and will likely be a breed-shaper.

 

There was one more significant landmark he passed yesterday, though, as Sparkling Plenty became his first Group 1 winner as broodmare sire with a smooth victory in the Prix de Diane for Patrice Cottier. 

 

Jean-Pierre Dubois’ homebred filly is by Frankel’s studmate Kingman and is a sister to Jersey Stakes winner Noble Truth out of Speralita, a half-sister to multiple Group 1 scorer Stacelita, who provided another of Frankel’s ground-breakers in Soul Stirring.

 

Sparkling Plenty could evoke memories of Frankel’s early days as a sire again today, as she is set to go under the hammer at the Goffs London Sale, which was illuminated by the sire’s first sales foal a decade ago this year.

 

Frankel’s brilliance as a sire, and his potential importance as a sire of sires and broodmare sire, is heartily deserved for Juddmonte, who launched the career of its own son this year, Chaldean, and will have a stockpile of daughters to breed from now and in future.

 

The late Khalid Abdullah’s operation was, after all, so open and generous in sharing Frankel with his fans and bloodstock industry enthusiasts after he retired out of the public eye 12 years ago. 

 

The team at Banstead Manor Stud went over and above in sharing news, pictures and videos of the horse, with even a few lighthearted moments here and there. I particularly enjoyed Frankel wielding a broom, cheering on Britain’s curling team at the Winter Olympics in 2014. Even now, Frankel's handler Rob Bowley will happily help visitors to the farm take a selfie with their hero.

 

Admittedly, the Racing Post’s Frankel Watch sometimes felt a little OTT, recording his every mating and movement and then the actions of all his early progeny in the ring and on the track too.

 

But looking back now, I miss it.

 

It seemed to unite everyone in cheering for a common cause (except a few Sea The Stars loyalists, although they and Frankel fans really don’t need to be mutually exclusive). Better that than the constant snark and self-congratulation seen on social media these days. 

 

There are still some diehards conducting their own Frankel Watch on Facebook and Twitter, like those Japanese soldiers who kept on fighting in the jungle long after the end of World War Two, and I salute them. Their love of the horse is what racing and breeding should all be about.

P.S. Thank you Martin Stevens for allowing me to copy and paste.

The photo is of our Joan the punter in the competitions.


IMG_2912.thumb.JPG.c09b7d08e88c9bb62315c673f641ad36.JPG

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On 6/17/2024 at 7:38 PM, Insider said:

Frankel has been acknowledged to be an elite sire for so long now that it’s easy to forget the brouhaha that once attended every stage of his second career at stud.

 

Never in my professional lifetime has a horse’s progress as a stallion been monitored so obsessively. In fact, after he retired to Banstead Manor Stud in 2013 the Racing Post launched Frankel Watch. No pressure there, then.

 

A double-page splash around the first day of the breeding season marked the fact that he had settled into his new surroundings, had already shown an appetite for the job at hand by successfully covering a test mare, and was about to be mated properly for the first time with the great Midday that morning.

 

Just over a fortnight later, the news of the first mare in foal to Frankel – Coolmore’s dual Group 3 winner Chrysanthemum – was eagerly reported across the racing and bloodstock media.

 

But that wasn’t enough to slake the thirst of racing fans for Frankel news so soon after the charismatic colt had retired unbeaten, recognised as possibly the best racehorse of all time. 

 

There was no way they would be able to wait until the following year when the mares would foal for the next update on their hero, and so Juddmonte’s then general manager Philip Mitchell kindly and patiently spelt out the details of the young sire’s debut breeding season to Racing Post readers that July.

 

He reported that Frankel had covered 133 mares and that, of those, 126 had been scanned in foal at a rate of 95 per cent. The figure was all the more impressive for the fact that six of the seven mares not in foal had been pregnant before suffering early foetal deaths.

 

His stellar first book had included 38 Group or Grade 1 winners and 26 dams of Group or Grade 1 winners, with two mares, Zee Zee Top and Zomaradah, fitting in both categories. Juddmonte had sent him 24 of its own mares.

 

Soon after came news of the first mares being covered to southern-hemisphere time in Newmarket that summer, including John Singleton’s top-class pair More Joyous and More Strawberries, and a few months later came the announcements of the in-foal European mares being catalogued for the breeding-stock sales.

 

One was Chrysanthemum, who was knocked down to Haras Don Alberto for 800,000gns at Tattersalls that December, although she was upstaged at the auction by Oaks heroine Dancing Rain, who also had a positive pregnancy to the dual world champion, and was sold to Godolphin for 4,000,000gns.

 

Frankel Watch resumed in 2014 with the arrival of the first foal, a bay colt out of the by-then household name Chrysanthemum, at Coolmore on January 11. A scramble ensued to procure pictures of the world-famous newborn.

 

That was only the first male progeny, though; clearly a separate report was needed when the sire’s first filly, a daughter of the well-bred Sadler’s Wells mare Song, was born at the National Stud a short time afterwards. Photos of her were widely circulated.

 

Proud breeders continued to dripfeed news of bonny Frankel foals being born in the early months of 2014. A particularly sweet picture of Danedream doting on her freshly born filly took up most of the front page of the Racing Post one day that January, demoting an important industry story about FOBTs to a narrow strip.

 

At that point, most people had seen only selected pictures of Frankel foals, but that all changed in June when it was revealed that Qatar Racing would sell a colt out of Crystal Gaze with his dam at the inaugural Goffs London Sale. As recalled in Friday’s Good Morning Bloodstock, footage of the pair being sold made the BBC News at Ten. They really were heady times for racing.

 

The sale of the Crystal Gaze colt did little to dampen enthusiasm for the bulk of the commercially bred Frankel foals who came under the hammer later in the year, although many experts at the sales gave them a bit of a tepid reception. The filly out of Finsceal Beo topped the Goffs November Foal Sale at €1.8 million, at least.

 

Frankel Watch in 2015 concerned itself with the second-crop foals – yes, in this case, even they were newsworthy – and the first yearlings to go through the ring. Again, the market’s surprising coolness towards them was a major talking point of the time, although the €1.7m sale of a filly out of Alexander Goldrun at Goffs provided some welcome headlines.

 

The excitement surrounding Frankel’s first two-year-olds was already incredibly high in the spring of 2016 and it was cranked up to 11 when his very first runner, Chrysanthemum’s son Cunco, won on debut for John Gosden at Newbury in mid-May, despite acting a little coltily in the preliminaries. 

 

A first stakes winner came not long after, when Juddmonte homebred Fair Eva bolted up in the Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot in July, and a debut top-level scorer was recorded before the end of the year, as Soul Stirring, a Japanese-foaled daughter of Stacelita, took the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies.

 

In the following year Soul Stirring also became Frankel’s first Classic winner in the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks). Later in 2017 Cracksman, who had gone close in the Derby and Irish Derby, became the sire’s first European Group 1 winner in the Champion Stakes. 

original.png?1718561638

He became champion sire in Britain and Ireland for the first time in 2021, and regained his crown last year, when Cracksman supplied the unbeaten champion Ace Impact from his own first crop.

 

Seven years and 140 black-type winners since Fair Eva – Delius became the latest when scoring decisively in the Prix du Lys at Chantilly yesterday – Frankel is no longer scrutinised as a sire. It is now taken for granted that he is an outstanding source of top-class horses and will likely be a breed-shaper.

 

There was one more significant landmark he passed yesterday, though, as Sparkling Plenty became his first Group 1 winner as broodmare sire with a smooth victory in the Prix de Diane for Patrice Cottier. 

 

Jean-Pierre Dubois’ homebred filly is by Frankel’s studmate Kingman and is a sister to Jersey Stakes winner Noble Truth out of Speralita, a half-sister to multiple Group 1 scorer Stacelita, who provided another of Frankel’s ground-breakers in Soul Stirring.

 

Sparkling Plenty could evoke memories of Frankel’s early days as a sire again today, as she is set to go under the hammer at the Goffs London Sale, which was illuminated by the sire’s first sales foal a decade ago this year.

 

Frankel’s brilliance as a sire, and his potential importance as a sire of sires and broodmare sire, is heartily deserved for Juddmonte, who launched the career of its own son this year, Chaldean, and will have a stockpile of daughters to breed from now and in future.

 

The late Khalid Abdullah’s operation was, after all, so open and generous in sharing Frankel with his fans and bloodstock industry enthusiasts after he retired out of the public eye 12 years ago. 

 

The team at Banstead Manor Stud went over and above in sharing news, pictures and videos of the horse, with even a few lighthearted moments here and there. I particularly enjoyed Frankel wielding a broom, cheering on Britain’s curling team at the Winter Olympics in 2014. Even now, Frankel's handler Rob Bowley will happily help visitors to the farm take a selfie with their hero.

 

Admittedly, the Racing Post’s Frankel Watch sometimes felt a little OTT, recording his every mating and movement and then the actions of all his early progeny in the ring and on the track too.

 

But looking back now, I miss it.

 

It seemed to unite everyone in cheering for a common cause (except a few Sea The Stars loyalists, although they and Frankel fans really don’t need to be mutually exclusive). Better that than the constant snark and self-congratulation seen on social media these days. 

 

There are still some diehards conducting their own Frankel Watch on Facebook and Twitter, like those Japanese soldiers who kept on fighting in the jungle long after the end of World War Two, and I salute them. Their love of the horse is what racing and breeding should all be about.

P.S. Thank you Martin Stevens for allowing me to copy and paste.

The photo is of our Joan the punter in the competitions.


IMG_2912.thumb.JPG.c09b7d08e88c9bb62315c673f641ad36.JPG

Incomparable race horse with amazing progeny  standing next to two NZ super Star Breeding and Racing Tragics !

( A wonderful memory for you both ).

 

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3 hours ago, Black Kirrama said:

Incomparable race horse with amazing progeny  standing next to two NZ super Star Breeding and Racing Tragics !

( A wonderful memory for you both ).

 

My colleague and I had our photos taken with Rogan Josh at a Racehorse Retirement farm near Melbourne a few years back.

The farm manager taking the photograph to get a smile said he was taking a photo of 3 aged geldings, and one of them won a Melbourne Cup  😀

https://www.livinglegends.org.au/

 

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Sir Alf, I am so rapt you and your " Colleague"  went to Living Legends.

Rogan Josh, Silent Witness, Good Baba and maybe the wonderfully named Apache Cat !.

I fluked a Competition win on Des Coppin's Radio show for a 5 Day Melbourne Cup Trip and the highlight was going to the Living Legends

It was the year Verry Ellegant ,trained by that  bloke Weir ran 8th in the VRC Oaks.

Here is the living legends link for Racing Tragics on Race Cafe  that are going to Melbourne  this Spring.

 

https://www.livinglegends.org.au/

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Black Kirrama said:

Sir Alf, I am so rapt you and your " Colleague"  went to Living Legends.

Rogan Josh, Silent Witness, Good Baba and maybe the wonderfully named Apache Cat !.

I fluked a Competition win on Des Coppin's Radio show for a 5 Day Melbourne Cup Trip and the highlight was going to the Living Legends

It was the year Verry Ellegant ,trained by that  bloke Weir ran 8th in the VRC Oaks.

Here is the living legends link for Racing Tragics on Race Cafe  that are going to Melbourne  this Spring.

 

https://www.livinglegends.org.au/

 

 

Hi Rev,

I did feel very lucky that day (but not as lucky as someone winning a fantastic trip like that though - well done you🙂👍). We were there for a company function, and my colleague and I were the only two 'racing people' out of the 80 odd in attendance.

I was chatting with the manager and he very kindly took us on a lunchtime trip down to the paddock - I'm pretty sure Apache Cat was there. Unfortunately they had lost one of their stars the previous week, can't recall just yet who it was but we visited the grave before our Rogan Josh opportunity.

My story with Rogan Josh was that I was super keen on his chances and was trying to drum up someone to split the $280 to take F/F for 2nd and 3rd (50 cent unit, no % betting then)

No takers, so I didn't commit - combined Trifecta dividends with the deadheat for 3rd about 72k for memory, although I'm trying to erase it 🤣  

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