Stallion Profile: Frankel

Alan Crowhurst

The most hyped stallion prospect in years, Frankel looks to fill the shoes of his historically good sire, Galileo. But will he produce a son/daughter as brilliant as himself?

Frankel has just wrapped up a career where he accomplished as much as any racehorse in history. An undefeated champion with wins at 8 and 10 furlongs against the premiere competition Europe has to offer. But now the question immediately transitions to whether or not he can produce in the breeding shed with the same efficiency he won on the turf. Many world beating champions find it difficult to make the leap; but most are disparaged due to the fact they cannot produce a runner as dominant as themselves. Secretariat fell victim to this stigma, but how could you realistically expect a once in a lifetime horse to produce another once in a lifetime horse? Frankel has a lot in common with Big Red in this regard, so let's take a look at his pedigree. *Note: I'm going to forego the (IRE), (GB), (USA), and (FR) country of breeding designations in Frankel's write up, as that would be a lot of parentheses*

GALILEO (IRE)
b. 1998

SADLERS WELLS (USA)
b. 1981 [CS]

NORTHERN DANCER (CAN)
b. 1961 [BC]

XX

NEARCTIC (CAN)

br. 1954

NATALMA (USA)

b. 1957 *

FAIRY BRIDGE (USA)*
b. 1975

BOLD REASON (USA)

b. 1968

SPECIAL (USA)

b. 1969 *

URBAN SEA (USA)*
ch. 1989

MISWAKI (USA)
ch. 1978

MR. PROSPECTOR (USA)

b. 1970 [BC]

HOPESPRINGSETERNAL (USA)

ch. 1971

ALLEGRETTA (GB)*
ch. 1978

LOMBARD (GER)

ch. 1967

ANATEVKA (GER)

ch. 1969

KIND (IRE)
b. 2001

DANEHILL (USA)
b. 1986

DANZIG (USA)
dkb/br. 1977 [IC]

NORTHERN DANCER (CAN)

XX

b. 1961 [BC]

PAS DE NOM (USA)

dkb/br. 1968

RAZYANA (USA)
b. 1981

HIS MAJESTY (USA)

b. 1968 [C]

SPRING ADIEU (CAN)

b. 1974

RAINBOW LAKE (GB)
b. 1990

RAINBOW QUEST (USA)
b. 1981 [CS]

BLUSHING GROOM (FR)

ch. 1974 [BC]

I WILL FOLLOW (USA)

b. 1975

ROCKFEST (USA)
ch. 1979

STAGE DOOR JOHNNY (USA)

ch. 1965 [SP]

ROCK GARDEN (GB)

ch. 1970








Sire: Galileo (Sadler's Wells - Urban Sea [Miswaki])

Galileo is the premiere stallion in the world. There is no question about that. His 2011 stud fee was 225,000 Euros and is "Private" in 2012. He's sired champions, both male and female, like he was picking up pennies off the street. He is by Sadler's Wells, one of the best stallions in the history of European breeding, and out of a Arc winning mare, Urban Sea. She was the Highweight older mare in France in 1993 and the Broodmare of the Year in England and Ireland in 2001. As if Galileo needed any more firepower than this, Urban Sea is a world class producer. Galileo's siblings include Sea the Stars, who basically won every Group 1 race in Europe his 3 year old season of 2009. And if that wasn't enough, four other siblings won Graded or Group events, one won a listed stakes, and another placed in a Group event. Galileo's pedigree is absolutely unparalleled and unrivaled. Additionally, his broodmare sire, Miswaki, is by Mr. Prospector, further adding to the ridiculously deep pedigree he possesses.

While the top half of Frankel's pedigree is fantastic, all Galileos share that. His female family is interesting, and while the direct lineage is solid, there is little depth of production from the family. But first, his broodmare sire:

Broodmare Sire: Danehill (Danzig - Razyana [His Majesty])

DRF says it better than I could:

"Danehill was bred in Kentucky in 1986 by Prince Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms near Lexington, Ky. He was the result of a unique mating, by Danzig (by Northern Dancer) out of Razyana by His Majesty. His second dam, Spring Adieu, was a half-sister to Northern Dancer. This cross resulted in 3x3 inbreeding to Northern Dancer's dam, Natalma, which is a little unusual but may have provided Danehill with the genetic prepotency he would demonstrate as a stallion...Danehill's legacy of stallion sons was quickly matched by his broodmare daughters, who have produced at least 185 stakes winners. Besides Frankel, Danedream, Maybe, Nayarra, Roderic O'Connor, and Sarah Lynx, previous Northern Hemisphere Group 1 winners out of Danehill mares include Art Connoisseur (by Lucky Story), Duncan (Dalakhani), Golden Lilac (Galileo), Intense Focus (Giant's Causeway), Nannina (Medicean), Saoire (Pivotal), Siyouni (Pivotal), and Teofilo (Galileo)."

I love how they feel obligate to say, "besides."

Danehill is currently the leader of the Broodmare Sire List. Yes, he is a benefactor of the Coolmore strategy of breeding to overly large books of mares, but regardless, his record of production speaks for itself. A world class track record of siring quality producers is more than enough to validate him as one of the more reliable broodmare sires out there.

Dam: Kind (Danehill - Rainbow Lake [Rainbow Quest])

Kind has six lifetime wins, including 2 listed stakes victories. She also fininshed 3rd in the G3-Ballyogen Stakes. All of her races came at 6f. She only has 4 named foals as she was foaled herself in 2001.

  • Frankel (m, 2008) - just ok, from what I hear.
  • Bullet Train (m, 2007) - better known as Frankel's pacemaker - won G3 Derby Trial at 11.5 furlongs.
  • Noble Mission (m, 2009) - won G3 Gordon at 12f, a listed stakes at 10f, 2nd in two other stakes, still young

Kind is a very good producer. Bullet Train is a much better horse than his record suggests, though he is probably more famous now for setting Frankel up than he would be on his own. Noble Mission is a G3 winner who has lost several close calls in other stakes. Kind is still young for a broodmare and can produce for several years to come. Keep an eye on her as a broodmare of the year prospect.

2nd Dam: Rainbow Lake (Rainbow Quest - Rockfest [Stage Door Johnny])

Rainbow Lake has three wins lifetime including the Group 3 Lancashire Oaks at 11 furlongs. She also won a listed stakes. She is a quality producer, including stallion Powerscourt. She has 14 listed foals with 6 winners. Her foals of note:

  • Kind (f, 2001) - above
  • Powerscourt (m, 2000) - 4x G1 wins including Arlington Million. 3rd in BC Turf. Winner of $1.9 million. Currently at stud in Turkey (current stats are difficult to find). Sire of:
    • Finnegan's Wake: 2nd G1-Secretariat Stakes
    • Court of the Realm: won G2-King Edward Stakes
  • Last Train (m, 2009) - 2nd G1-Grand Prix de Paris at 12f, still young

A solid producer and most importantly, demonstrates that the family can produce a viable stallion. Powerscourt, while not a world beater in the breeding shed, was serviceable. His two best foals show that his get can compete on turf with the best in both hemispheres. Last Train is still young, but has shown that he loves the French Turf. Keep an eye on him in the future.

Basically the entire female family was and is owned and bred by Juddmonte. This means that a sizeable portion of the family races or raced in Saudi Arabia. Records are difficult to find from my open sources.

3rd Dam: Rockfest (Stage Door Johnny - Rock Garden [Roan Rocket])

Rockfest won 2 races lifetime, one of which was a listed stakes race. She also finished 2nd in the G3-Esal Bookmakers Oaks Trial Stakes. She has 6 winners of 10 foals. None of note after Rainbow Lake.

The Grand Finale

The female family improves drastically as it come closer and closer to the present day. You can see that Juddmonte made a concerted effort to breed to high quality sires in order to successively increase the quality of their stock. The broodmare sires listed above, briefly:

  • Stage Door Johnny - Won Belmont. 1968 US Champion 3yo. Sired two Eclipse Champions.
  • Rainbow Quest - 1985 French and English Champion Older Horse. Won Coronation Cup and the Arc. Champion Broodmare. Owned by Juddmonte
  • Danehill - See above

A great and patient breeding program yielded progressive better progeny. Frankel is the benefactor of the best daughter of the best daughter of Rockfest. At that point, the pedigree was potent enough that the breeding of Kind with Galileo hit the jackpot.

Now Secretariat could not be different from Frankel insofar as breeding is concerned. Secretariat, in retrospect, is from a truly royal line of breeding, where stakes winners are easier to find than blue grass in Lexington. But the pressures and expectations are the same. Secretariat turned out to be a sneaky good stallion. His best progeny were his daughters, who were both productive on the track and were truly prized as broodmares (for a great read about Secretariat's female family, read this). Yet he still isn't credited with being as good as he probably was simply because he did not sire a true male heir to his crown as champion.

But really, is that even plausible? Is it possible for Secretariat to beget, oh I don't know, Secretariat Prime (complete with bionic legs and indestructible hooves)? I guess it is possible, but not probable. So how will Frankel be remembered? As the heir of Sadler's Wells best son to stand at stud, Galileo? As a great runner who was a quality sire? Or as the world champion who could never live up to the highest standard achieved by only a handful before him? He will always be measured by the impossible standard he set on the turf, there's no question. But my bet is the Danehill influence crossed with Galileo will prove to be a very lucrative pedigree in the breeding shed. Look for him to start at six figures with an extremely selective application process for mares. He should cross extraordinarily well the Mr. Prospector bloodline. It will be fun to watch him, that's for sure.

As per usual, h/t to Pedigree Query, Equibase, and Racing Post for most of the information above.

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