September 26, 2010

The Bloodlines of Frankel

After only three career starts, Frankel has turf writers pounding their thesauri in search of new superlatives to describe the handsome colt. Yesterday at the Ascot Festival, Frankel exceeded the hype machine by running his competition into the ground with a scintillating ten-length runaway in the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes. The impressive juvenile, named after the late Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, has been much talked about before he even made his career debut, and his first three starts have more than sufficiently fueled the fire for talks of greatness. Yesterday’s romp came on the heels of a 13-length virtuoso at Doncaster. Reality rarely ever approaches hyperbole in the world of racing, but in the case of Frankel it has become quickly clear that we are looking at a young horse far from the ordinary. Frankel is trained by Henry Cecil, and was bred in England by his owner, Juddmonte Farm. Let’s take a look at those bloodlines for some clues into where this new star inherited his ability.

Frankel is a son of Galileo, who not only was a champion racehorse, winning the Epsom Derby, Irish Derby, and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes in an eight race career, but is also about as well bred as a racehorse could be. Galileo’s sire is the champion Sadlers Wells, who as possibly Northern Dancer’s most prolific son, has been the dominant sire in European racing over the past quarter century. Including Galileo, he has sired more than 70 grade/group 1 winners around the world. Galileo’s dam is Urban Sea, who like her son, was both a champion racer, as well as a producer of champions. On the track, Urban Sea was good enough to beat the males in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and as a broodmare she has proved even greater. She has produced many topnotch horses, the most noteworthy, along with Galileo, being the great Sea the Stars. Urban Sea is a also a grandaughter of the great American sire, Mr. Prospector, giving Galileo a wonderful mix of speed and ample stamina.

On the female side, Frankel has a little more speed influence which may explain his precociousness in his first three races at distances of seven furlongs and one mile. His dam is Kind, a fast, stakes winning daughter of champion sire Danehill. Danehill, despite a shortened career as a sire due to passing at the age of 17, was a spectacular sire in both hemispheres. His influence is Australia may be even greater than his great success as a sire in Europe. A son of the great American sire Danzig, Danehill was best at shorter distances as a runner, but proved to be able to produce horses of quality at all distances. Frankel’s second dam is Rainbow Lake, a daughter of champion Rainbow Quest out of a Stage Door Johnny mare, giving Kind‘s female family a strong stamina base. Besides Kind, Rainbow Lake produced the champion Powerscourt, who made a big splash in consecutive runnings of the Arlington Million. Although a young broodmare, Frankel is not Kind’s first offspring of note, as she also produced three-year-old stakes winner Bullet Train, who was one of the favorites for this year’s Epsom Derby.

With this kind of regal breeding, it is no wonder that Frankel has been well regarded from the beginning. He has the looks to match and considering the ability he has shown in his first three starts, he truly could be any kind. Frankel is still largely untested, but all signs point to a star in the making.


darlene said...

His paper sounds pretty good but something else caught my eye Stage Door Johnny Please consider him as a story So many good memories about him including my first win bet

Brian Zipse said...

I would be happy to do a piece on Stage Door Johnny sometime soon Darlene. ;-)

Jonathan said...

Dewhurst next step back to 7F better opposition. Looks a bull of a horse and Cecil says he has scope still.

LDP said...

Sky is the limit for this colt. His last race was simply spectacular.