In-depth Analysis

By Claire Curry

Galileo has well and truly established himself as the pre-eminent sire in the world. He has produced at least two Gr.1 winners and at least one Classic winner in each of his first 11 crops to race, and his 12th crop has already yielded three Gr.1-winning two-year-olds. He has been the champion sire in Europe for the past seven seasons, with his most successful crop to date being the one born in 2008. This group included nine individual winners at the highest level (five of which won Classics), headed by FRANKEL.

As a Derby-winning son of the legendary Sadler’s Wells and the Arc de Triomphe winner Urban Sea, Galileo had all of the elements to succeed. Since retiring to stud, his pedigree has received a major boost through the exploits of three Gr.1-winning full/half-siblings, most notably the truly outstanding racehorse and highly promising young sire Sea The Stars.

Galileo is already making a name for himself as a sire of sires with the number of his sons having produced Group winners fast approaching double figures. Two of these, the Dewhurst winners New Approach and Teofilo, both got off to the best possible start by siring two-year-old Gr.1 winners and Classic winners in their first crops. Galileo’s other Dewhurst winner to have runners is none other than FRANKEL– who has also been represented by a Gr.1 winning two-year-old in his first crop – hopes are high that a Classic winner will follow.

Juddmonte have had three broodmares who produced three Group winners from their first three foals – the first two to achieve the feat were Hasili and Toussaud. Not only did these mares go on to be awarded Broodmare Of The Year – they have also had stallion sons who sired Gr.1 winners (DANSILI, CACIQUE and CHAMPS ELYSEES for Hasili; EMPIRE MAKER and CHESTER HOUSE for Toussaud). The third mare is Kind - the dam of FRANKEL.  

Kind’s first foal was the Sadler’s Wells colt Bullet Train, winner of the Lingfield Derby Trial Gr.3 but more famously known as the pacemaker for FRANKEL. Bullet Train has retired to stud in Kentucky – as has Noble Mission, who memorably became a triple Gr.1 winner in 2014. Kind’s fourth son to stand at stud is the OASIS DREAM colt Morpheus. Kind’s only filly to date is the dual Listed winner and multiple Group placed Joyeuse - who retired to stud in 2015 and has since produced a Shamardal filly as her first foal. Kind was a very talented sprinter who liked to race prominently. A six-time winner, including twice in Listed company, her speed could have been predicted from her strong physique but arguably not from her pedigree. Although she is by Danehill, her dam Rainbow Lake won the Lancashire Oaks over a mile and a half. A daughter of RAINBOW QUEST, Rainbow Lake had already produced the dual Gr.1 winner Powerscourt the year before Kind was born, and subsequently the Group winners Last Train and Riposte. Rainbow Lake’s dam Rockfest was introduced into the Juddmonte broodmare band in 1983 – 30 years prior to FRANKEL, a third generation homebred, embarking on his own stud career.

Some racehorses have moments of brilliance - FRANKEL was consistently brilliant. He is the only horse to have run to a Timeform rating in the 140’s six times (recording the highest ever Timeform rating of 147). He is also the only horse to run to an official rating of 140 twice and is the highest rated horse since the International Classifications began. In an unbeaten career he has been champion at two, three and four years of age (the only horse to achieve this feat unbeaten) – in the process setting a record for consecutive European Gr.1 wins – and beating 23 individual Gr.1 winners of 50 Gr.1 races by a cumulative winning distance of over 76 lengths.

There were many jaw-dropping moments in FRANKEL’s career – his majestic 10-length victory in the Royal Lodge Stakes at two years; the raw power and exuberance of his front-running display in the 2000 Guineas; his complete annihilation of the opposition in the Queen Anne Stakes; his effortless step up to 10.5 furlongs in front of an appreciative Yorkshire crowd in the Juddmonte International; the sense of overwhelming happiness and relief tinged with sadness when he made his triumphant final start at Ascot in the Champion Stakes.

From soft ground to good to firm; over distances ranging from seven to 10.5 furlongs; aged two, three and four – FRANKEL’s long stride and outstanding natural ability carried him effortlessly through his racing career. As Tony Morris so eloquently writes, FRANKEL is: “The greatest horse most of us have seen, or will ever see… I’ve never known another horse with such a high cruising speed and the capacity to sustain maximum velocity for so long. He is a phenomenon.”

FRANKEL retired to stud in 2013 as the most exciting stallion prospect in the world and has subsequently covered stellar books of international broodmares.

20% of the mares covered in his first four Northern Hemisphere seasons were Gr.1 winners. Those due to foal in 2017 include Gr.1 winners Adoration, Bethrah, Danedream, Eva’s Request, Heat Haze, Necklace, Plumania, Proportional, Ribbons, Tates Creek and Vodka, as well as the dams of Gr.1 winners Bago, Flotilla, Kingsgate Native, Magnificent Song,  Masked Marvel, Maxios, No Nay Never, Ridasiyna, Rip Van Winkle, Sultanina and Winsili.  

FRANKEL's book of mares for 2017 is going to be even stronger still, due to his outstanding start at stud. There were always going to be high expectations surrounding FRANKEL's first runners but they delivered in style. From the debut wins of Cunco and Queen Kindly (his first colt and filly to be born who also became his first colt and filly to run) to the Group race victories of Fair Eva, Frankuus, the aforementioned Queen Kindly, Mi Suerte, Soul Stirring and Toulifaut, every new runner was eagerly anticipated by those within the racing industry and by racing fans around the world.  

FRANKEL ended the season with the following accolades:

  • The leading sire in the Northern Hemisphere by two-year-old Group winners (ahead of Galileo and War Front)
  • The leading first season sire in Europe and North America by Worldwide Earnings
  • The leading first season sire in Europe by Group Winners (1990-2016)
  • The sire of Champion Japanese two-year-old filly Soul Stirring

The success on the racetrack was mirrored by success in the sales ring – with FRANKEL having the second highest yearling average of any stallion standing in Europe and North America (ahead of Tapit, War Front and Galileo). He had 25 yearlings sell for an average of over £525,000, with three colts at Tattersalls selling for over 1,000,000gns and 11 yearlings in total selling for over £500,000. His Group 3-winning daughter Toulifaut sold for a record-breaking €1,900,000 at the Arqana Arc Sale.

Hopes are obviously now sky high for FRANKEL's three-year-olds, and with two-year-olds out of the Gr.1 winners African Rose (dam of Fair Eva), Attraction, Bethrah, Casual Look, Danedream, Emulous, Etoile Montante, Giofra, Harmonious, Kinnaird, Lady Jane Digby, Lightening Pearl, Midday, Moonstone, Nebraska  Tornado, Peeress, Proportional, Ramruma, Sariska, She Be Wild, Shotgun Gulch, Vodka, Winsili, Wizz Kid, Zarkava and Zenda (dam of KINGMAN) to go into training in 2017, there is everyone reason to believe that the best is yet to come.