There are some excellent candidates among the producers of this week’s most prominent winners, but is there a better horse in the world than Frankel? No. I don’t believe so.
The European Horse of the Year and champion 3yo from 2011 ran his unbeaten record to 10 with a facile victory in the G1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury over the weekend, and if the production of a supreme champion such as Frankel is not enough distinction for a mare, his dam Kind (Danehill) is now the producer of three stakes winners from three foals to race.
Mares who produce like that typically have shown quite good form themselves, and Kind was a really good athlete, winning a string of five consecutive victories as a 3yo under the training of Roger Charlton. In a comment attributed to Henry Cecil, who trains the mare’s three sons, Kind showed immense speed for owner-breeder Juddmonte Farms but did not take kindly to rating, and certainly her offspring have plenty of ability, accompanied with an inclination to be headstrong.
That was a part of the consideration in the program that Cecil and owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah mapped out for Frankel. They have asked the handsome and powerfully built colt to achieve at a very high level, but at each stage, they have given the horse time to adapt, to improve, to maintain an upward trend in condition and the expression of it.
If we go back and look at Frankel’s record from his maiden victory through a first top-level success at 2, then his return at 3 to win a classic, establish dominance among 3yos, and finally challenge and thoroughly overpower his elders at a distance well within his scope, it is a remarkably logical and well-balanced program to allow the colt to do everything that he has the potential to do.
The trainer and owner knew this colt had great ability, but they also knew he could go off the tracks if pushed the wrong way at the wrong time. So the progression they have encouraged and that Frankel has made is a tribute to a sense of horsemanship and sportsmanship of the finest sort.
I truly hope that Frankel’s connections and the race-loving public get to enjoy him to the fullest all this season.
The produce record of Kind and her next two dams are below:
By GALILEO (1998), Champion, $2,250,614. Sire of 8 crops. 1062 foals, 750 starters, 100 black type winners, 437 winners, $61,106,809, including New Approach (Champion, $3,880,667), Cape Blanco (Champion, $3,853,216), Soldier of Fortune(Champion, $2,652,330), Treasure Beach (Champion, $2,267,749), Frankel (Horse of the Year, Champion, $2,210,448), Rip Van Winkle (Champion, $1,913,653), Nathaniel (Champion, $1,220,143), Misty for Me (Champion, $1,125,042).
KIND, by Danehill. 6 wins at 3 and 4, in Eng, 67,934 pounds. Placed at 4, in Ire, 7,000 euros. Won Flower of Scotland (ENG), Kilvington S. (ENG). 3rd Ballyogan S. [G3] (IRE), Lansdown Fillies S. (ENG). (Total: $132,389) Dam of 3 foals to race, all winners–
2007 BULLET TRAIN (c, by Sadler’s Wells). Winner at 2 and 3, in Eng, 46,703 pounds. Won Derby Trial S. [G3] (ENG). (Total: $69,924)
2008 FRANKEL (c, by Galileo). Co-highweight colt at 2 in England, champion 3yo colt in Europe, highweight colt at 3 in England, 7-9.5f, Horse of the Year in Europe. (In ENG) at 2, four wins – Dewhurst S. [G1] (ENG), Royal Lodge S. [G2] (ENG); at 3, five wins – (Two Thousand Guineas S. [G1] (ENG), St. James’s Palace S. [G1] (ENG), Sussex S. [G1] (ENG), Queen Elizabeth 2nd S. [G1] (ENG), Greenham S. [G3] (ENG); at 4, 1 win – Lockinge S. [G1] (ENG). (Total: $2,320,000)
2009 NOBLE MISSION (c, by Galileo). 2 wins at 3, 2012, in Eng, 34,725 pounds. Won Newmarket S. (ENG), 2nd Fairway S. (ENG). (Total: $56,368)
RAINBOW LAKE (GB), by Rainbow Quest. 3 wins at 3, in Eng, 33,713 pounds. Won Lancashire Oaks [G3] (ENG). (Total: $51,254) Dam of 10 foals to race, 7 winners–
POWERSCOURT (c, by Sadler’s Wells). At 3 Co-hwt At 3 In Ire, 14f & Up. Placed at 4, $270,000 in NA. Winner at 5, $600,000 in US. Won Arlington Million S. [G1]. 3rd Breeders’ Cup Turf [G1]. At 4 Sent to Hong Kong, Sent to U.S.A. At 7 Sent to Chile. Winner at 3, in Eng, 250,949 GBP. Winner at 2, 3 and 4, in Ire, 356,986 EUR. Placed at 4, in Ger, 36,000 EUR. Unplaced at 4, in Jpn. Unplaced at 5, in UAE. Won Tattersalls Gold Cup [G1] (IRE), Great Voltigeur S. [G2] (ENG). 2nd Racing Post Trophy [G1] (ENG), Prince Of Wales’s S. [G1] (ENG), Gp Preis Bayerisches Zuchtrennen [G1] (GER), Scottish Derby [G2] (ENG). 3rd Irish St. Leger [G1] (IRE), Irish Champion S. [G1] (IRE). (Total: $1,816,614) Sire.
KIND (f, by Danehill). Black type winner, see above.
Westlake (c, by Sadler’s Wells). 3 wins at 3, in Ire, 39,068 euros. (Total: $53,554)
Brimming (c, by Generous). 3 wins at 3, in Eng, 23,683 pounds. (Total: $39,252)
Last Train (c, by Rail Link). Winner at 3, 2012, in Fr, 16,350 euros. (Total: $21,225)
Unaware (c, by Unfuwain). Winner at 2, in Eng, 8,765 pounds. Winner at 8, in Fr, 4,000 euros. (Total: $18,333)
Arizona Jewel (f, by Dansili). Winner at 3, in Eng, 7,153 pounds. (Total: $11,726)
Marella (f, by Desert Prince). At 5 Sent to France. Unplaced at 3, in Eng. (Total: $0) Producer.
Rockfest, by Stage Door Johnny. At 2 Sent to Great Britain. 2 wins at 2, in Eng, $28,924. Unplaced at 3, in Fr. 2nd Oaks Trial S.-G3. 3rd Kingsclere S. (ENG). (Total: $28,924) Dam of 9 foals to race, 5 winners–
RAINBOW LAKE (f, by Rainbow Quest). Black type winner, see above.
VERTEX (c, by Shirley Heights). 2 wins at 3, in Eng, 8,150 pounds. Won Pr Ezio Vanoni (Ity). (Total: $13,647)
Climber (c, by Bold Lad (IRE)). Unplaced at 3, in Eng. Unplaced at 4 to 7, in Fr. 3rd Gp de Bruxelles (Bel).
Rock Falcon (c, by Polar Falcon). 6 wins at 4 and 5, in Eng, 48,794 pounds. (Total: $79,905)
Best Rock (c, by Try My Best). Winner at 3, in Fr, $24,345. (Total: $24,345)
Rainfest (f, by Rainbow Quest). Winner at 3, in Eng, 4,930 pounds. (Total: $7,611)
Rock Of Gold (f, by Rainbow Quest). Unraced. At 5 Sent to Italy. Dam of 2 winners.