Champion horse Frankel scoring at stud

CNN  — 

He was a brilliant racehorse with an unbeaten record, but Frankel is proving to be an equally prolific scorer at stud.

Frankel entered his second career under huge expectations, but as the leading sire at Royal Ascot 2018 he is proving a chip off the old block of his prodigious father Galileo, one of the most celebrated and successful stallions ever.

Frankel’s offspring scored three wins, two seconds at last month’s royal meeting, netting a prize haul of £775,000 ($1.024M).

With only two full crops of foals so far in the racing arena, it’s a “remarkable” feat, according to Simon Mockridge, the director of Frankel’s Banstead Manor Stud, part of Prince Khalid bin Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms breeding operation.

“Any horse that can go to Royal Ascot, the most competitive race meeting in the world in a fabulous location, and have three winners and seven placed horses is quite extraordinary,” he told CNN Sport.

Tom Goff, director of leading consultancy Blandford Bloodstock, added: “Frankel is rock ‘n’ roll.”

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Frankel was one of the most dominant and feted racehorses of recent times with 14 straight wins, including the 2,000 Guineas in 2011. Despite not running in the Epsom Derby, he amassed nearly $4 million) in prize funds.

The pride of the late trainer Sir Henry Cecil, Frankel retired to stud in Suffolk in 2013 with an initial fee of $165,00 per cover, based on his immaculate racing pedigree.

That has risen to $231,000 largely off the back of the Cracksman, who was third in the Derby and landed Frankel a first Group 1 winner with victory in the Champion Stakes at Ascot in October 2017, finishing the season as the world’s top-rated three-year-old.

Although Cracksman only finished second in the Prince of Wales’ Stakes at Royal Ascot this year, another promising son Without Parole clinched the highly prized St James’ Palace Stakes – “arguably one of the top races for three-year-olds in the world,” according to Goff – while Monarch’s Glen and Baghdad also won during the week.

Frankie Dettori rode Frankel's son Without Parole to victory at Royal Ascot.

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Frankel is still chasing a first European Classic winner from his progeny, although his daughter Stirring Soul won the Japanese Oaks in 2014 and Rostropovich was also second in the recent Irish Derby.

But in terms of the percentage of Group race winners to foals, Frankel is in hot pursuit of legendary stallions such as Galileo and Dubawi at the same stage of their careers.

“Horses that can return 10 percent are absolutely elite and he is currently at nine percent. He’s up there with the very elite… and that’s just with two and a half crops,” added Mockridge.

“Certainly in Europe there are only two horses that can compare to him – his own father Galileo and Dubawi.

“Statistically, he’s above Dubawi and just behind Galileo and leading sires like Tapit in the US and Deep Impact in Japan.”

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, met Frankel and stallion man Rob Bowley at Banstead Manor Stud in 2017.

‘Most exciting young sire’

Looking at prize money from stakes winners – Group 1, 2 and 3 races and listed races – Frankel is second only to his father in 2018 with $2.3M from seven winners compared to Galileo’s $3.6M from 17, according to statistics from the Racing Post.

New Approach, sire of Derby winner Masar, is third and Camelot, father to Irish Derby champion Latrobe, is fourth. Only Dubawi (in sixth) has as many winners as Frankel.

“On the evidence both before and after Royal Ascot, Frankel is probably the most exciting young sire on the sire list in Great Britain and Ireland,” added Goff.

Galileo, standing at the Coolmore Stud in Ireland, has been Europe’s champion sire for nine of the last 10 years. His success is such that his stud fees are undisclosed, although reports suggest the figure is in excess of $584,200.

A Galileo filly out of multiple winner Dank achieved $5.6M at last October’s Tattersalls yearling sales.

EPSOM, ENGLAND - JUNE 03:  Padraig Beggy riding Wings Of Eagles (L, pink cap) win The Investec Derby from Cliffs Of Moher (C, dark blue) on Investec Derby Day at Epsom Racecourse on June 3, 2017 in Epsom, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
The Epsom Derby and the O'Brien family
22:09 - Source: CNN

Dubawi, who stands at Dalham Hall Stud, part of Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation, was the fastest sire to 50 Group race winners and commands a fee of $330,000 per time.

The stud team aims to get about 140 mares in foal a year, and in 2017 his crop of yearlings averaged $1.15M each.

Frankel’s yearlings went for an average of $661,000 in 2017 based on the 25 that were sold.

“He has certainly lived up to his billing. He’s doing extremely well at stud and his progeny is starting to make enormous numbers at sales,” adds Goff.

Further success, and perhaps a Classic victory, could see those numbers skyrocket.

“He’s not far away from winning one, it’s just timing,” says Mockridge. “Of course, going forward it’s important for any stallion to have Classic winners. That’s how they are judged.”

Barring inherent risks of injury or illness, Frankel the stud looks to be on a trajectory every bit as impressive as Frankel the race horse.

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“He was a brilliant race horse, he’s brilliant at what he does in the breeding environment, he’s an extremely fertile stallion and he’s incredibly well-mannered and uncomplicated,” says Mockridge.

“We’re very fortunate to have him.”

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