Monday, 14 May 2018

Andrew Balding: ''The Nicest Bunch of Horses I've Ever Had

King Power Racing Co Ltd
We've been waiting for the first 2YO Frankel runner of this 2018 Flat season. 

2:00 Newbury - 18th May (Friday) Welcome To The Starlight Raceday Maiden Stakes (Plus 10) (Class 4) (2yo) 

Fox Premier - trained by Andrew Balding. Only time will tell if this is the case. He is one of 47 entrant at this early declaration stage.

This bay colt is out of a dam called Fann, who ran 19 times and trained by Clive Brittain. She had one win - a progressive horse. She achieved her highest official rating (104) in her last few races before being retired as a brood mare. 

Fox Premier cost 700,000G at the yearling sales and runs in the ownership of King Power Racing Co Ltd. They have horses such as Beat The Bank

Vichai Srivaddhanapradha owns King Power Racing Co Ltd. Football fans will know he is the Thai billionaire owner of Leicester City FC. He is investing substantial money into horse racing. In fact, in 2018 he has spent £16 million. His horses run in the blue and white Leicester City colours. 

Purchases include a £2.5 million Frankel filly named King Power and a daughter by Dubawi which cost £1.3 million called Tuk Power. The magnate who made his fortune from his King Power duty free shop empire has 60 horses in training with three handlers: Andrew Balding, Ralph Beckett and Richard Hannon. While David Elsworth, Martyn Meade and David Simcock are on the trainer roster.    

Andrew Balding is the lucky recipient of 30 horses at Kingsclere Stables in Hampshire. 

He said: ''It is a major boost to the yard. He has bought some lovely horses. The ones I've got are more for next year but he has some nice ones with Richard and Ralph.''

He continued: ''Money doesn't guarantee results but the signs are good. They are the nicest bunch of horses I've ever had. We'll all being doing our hardest to get him some results.''   

No doubt Balding has been waiting for this 6f race because this March foal is bred to want 6f - 7f as a starting point. This trainer can win with debutantes. being such an expensive purchase, he is likely to be fancied in the betting. 

Other horses in the ownership of King Power Racing Co Ltd.

Fox Vardy - trained by Martyn Meade (£220,500)
Fox Kasper - trained by Richard Hannon (£220,500)
Come On Leicester - trained by Richard Hannon (£378,000)

Good to see the first of a new crop of Frankel two-year-olds.   

Monday, 7 May 2018

Your Guide to the Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes 2018

Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes 2018 A Brief History of the Lily Agnes Stakes 

Did you know the Lily Agnes was named after an English thoroughbred racehorse? This daughter of Marconi, out of the dam Polly Agnes, was foaled in 1871. This filly was bred by James Snarry, who kept this bay in his ownership. Her racecourse achievements were heralded far and wide. She won 21 of her 32 starts including the Northumberland Plate (1874), Doncaster Cup (1874) & Ebor Handicap (1875). 

The Lily Agnes Stakes was named in her memory.     

Yogi's Girl won the Lily Agnes in 2017 

Wednesday: 1:50 Chester - Stellar Group Lily Agnes Stakes (Plus 10) Class 2 

Eleven two-year-olds take part. All have race experience. 

1) Arthur's Spirit - Bill Turner

No stranger to speedy two-year-olds. This son of Swiss Spirit disappointed in the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes. However, he showed good pace at Southwell when runner-up and led all the way to win at Kempton. 

Verdict: A wide draw (10) will make this hard work.

2) Dark Thunder - Tom Dascombe 

One of four juveniles entered here for this local trainer from Malpas, Cheshire. This grey colt made his debut in a hot Windsor Stakes finishing third behind the talented Emaaraty Ana, who beat Blown By Wind at odds of 4/11f. Has first jockey riding which indicates the best of the stablemates.

Verdict: Needs to find improvement on that first start. 

3) Five Amarones - Tom Dascombe  NR

Another recruit from Manor House Stables. Ran a respectable race on debut when a running on third at Pontefract. Raced at Bath on Monday when hanging on for third place behind easy winner Barbill., trained by Mick Channon. 

Verdict: May be withdrawn after recent effort. Unlikely to figure on what we have seen.

4) Gingersdunthelot - David Loughnane 

A prime draw in stall 1. He's shown plenty of pace in both starts to date but tired rapidly thereafter. 

Verdict: Very unlikely to win.

5) Kinks - Mick Channon  NR

A speedy colt who likes to lead. Narrowly foiled on debut at Kempton and then battling win at Bath before winning again under a penalty. A professional colt who would have his supporters if he wasn't draw so wide in stall 11. 

Verdict: A wide draw looks very difficult to overcome. Not impossible but will need to sit in behind and hope the leaders stop. 

6) Lihou - David Evans

Beat Kinks on debut, running on with spirit, and touch of style. Ran well on debut in the Brocklesby after a slow start. David Evans has done well in this race and this son of Mayson is drawn well enough in stall 5. May well sit in behind and finish the race with verve. 

Verdict: A decent juvenile who has been aimed at this race. A fair draw should see him hold every chance. A major player. 

7) Jensue - Tom Dascombe 

This daughter of Red Jazz was quite fancied in the betting when making his debut at Beverley. The first five horses were clear of the field and the form has been franked. A good draw in stall 2 is handy. Whether he will have the pace to lead is a matter of opinion. Needs to improve on that first start and be faster into his running here. 

Verdict: A good draw and open to improvement but needs to be much sharper. Others look more suiting to this turning course. 

8) Lady Prancealot - David Evans  NR

A winner and two place effort from three starts. This filly hasn't been disgraced but may lack the speed or class of a few of these. 

Verdict: A relatively wide draw isn't ideal. Has show good pace but looks to have something to prove and a touch exposed. 

9) Light My Fire - Tom Dascombe (NR)

Ran out a nice winner on debut at Ripon. The form of that race doesn't look anything special but not without hope. A decent draw in stall 3. 

Verdict: May need to improve on debut win but a smart introduction. A chance but a couple look more likely. 

10) No Lippy - Mark Johnston 

This daughter of Oasis Dream battled well to win at odds of 2/1 when defying World Order at Nottingham, the pair clear of the third. A terrier of a filly who dug deep to beat a colt. She has the speed to get to the rail and could take some pegging back. 

Verdict: A leading chance. Not easy to assess the form of her debut win but one of three horses entered for this race by the trainer. Would get my vote. 

11) Thegreyvtrain - Ron Harris 

Showed little in first two starts then held on well when runner-up at Kempton behind the potentially smart On The Stage trained by Ed Walker. 

Verdict: A wide draw and limited ability mean this filly has a mountain to climb. 

Lily Agnes Stakes Racing Tips 2018:  

Best: No Lippy & Lihou. 

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Hugo Palmer and Fanshawe Frankel Two-year-olds

James FanshaweAs yet, no Frankel two-year-olds have hit the track but there is little doubt these potentially smart juveniles are flying up the gallops. 

Taking a look at Juddmonte website, I can see a number of offspring have been named and trainers identified.  

Exciting times. 

This website Frankel Horse Racing Blog will be used to detail the majority of two-year-olds as they make their debuts, race at pattern class and all those lofty plans.

So which trainers have two-year-olds?

Here are a couple of outstanding trainers with plenty to look forward Hugo Palmer & James Fanshawe.

Hugo Plamer - Dombra

Born 11th January 2016. This bay colt is out of the mare, Chigun, who was trained by Lady Cecil in the ownership of V I Araci. She raced 13 times, winning 4 races including Group 3 success and racing at Group 1. She achieved an official rating of 114. Total prize winnings of £77,829. 

James Fanshawe - It Had To Be You 

Born 28th February 2016. This bay colt is out of the mare Fallen For You. Bred by Normandie Stud Ltd. Trained by John Gosden, she raced just seven times achieving three wins. A smart debut effort when 5/2f under the riding of William Buick. The pinnacle of her career winning the Coronation Stakes Group 1 at Royal Ascot. Achieving an official rating of 116 and total prize earnings of £183, 240.  

Review more two-year-olds here

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Cracksman for Dunaden Jockey Club Stakes (Group 2)

Cracksman, son of Frankel
The leading light of Frankel's offspring for many. 

2:55 Newmarket (5th May) 1m 4f 

The early declaration stage at 23 entrants still thinking about future plans. 

A couple of Frankel's may be heading to Newmarket. 

Cracksman needs little introduction as a class horse. This four-year-old bay colt is trained by John Gosden in the ownership of A E Oppenheimer. Just seven runs to his name but a a colt in the shadow of his immense father, like son. Readers may remember his debut win at Newmarket over 1m. 

A return at 3yo saw him win the Investec Derby Trial by a short head. Made favourite for the Epsom Derby [7/2f] he was denied by one length. Then beaten a neck in the Irish Derby (Group 1) at the Curragh. In truth, losing little in defeat. 

Then we witnessed three imperious results. 

York's Great Voltegeur Stakes (Group 2) keeping on strongly to win by six lengths, pushed clear and kept on strongly for Frankie Dettori.

Chantilly, France. The Qatar Prix Niel (Group 2). Made 2/5f and winning by three-and-a-half lengths in comfortable style with Dettori at his best. 

Ascot. Dropping back in distance to 1m 2f taking the Qipco Champion Stakes (Group 1) impressively by seven lengths. 

Other significant entries:

Tattersalls Gold Cup (Group 1) Curragh

Epson Investec Coronation Cup (Group 1) Epsom 

Total earning £1,353,004

Other Frankel for Dunaden Stakes

Count Octave trained by Andrew Balding

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Frankel Watch: Frankadore (2yo) Trained by Tom Dascombe

Manor House Stables
Tom Dascombe is known as a trainer of two-year-olds for a very good reason. 

Over the past few seasons, he has fielded horses such as:

Frozen Angel 
Eartha Kitt

The best of the recent two-year-old crop heralded Kachy who won the Molecomb Stakes (Group 3) 2015.

Probably the most noted two-year-old success being Ceiling Kitty who won the Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) at Royal Ascot in 2012.  

Classic Blade won the July Stakes (Group 2) at Newmarket in 2008. 

Any way, so much for history. Sometimes you need to look to the future and Manor House Stables have plenty to keep them interested. The 2018 season has already shown a couple of smart prospect with debut winners Jackstar & Light My Fire. Certainly, the former is expected to be heading to Royal Ascot. 

For most stables, it is a point of recognition when they have a Frankel two-year-old in the camp and that is the case. 

Frankadore is an April foal (30th, 2016), a chestnut colt out of a mare called adoration bred by Ashtown Bloodstock. The mare raced 41 times on both Flat and NH distance ranging from 5f - 2m 3f. She won five times in her career achieving total prize earnings of £52,431.  

Monday, 16 April 2018

3:00 Newmarket (18th April) Frankuus Earl of Sefton Stakes (Group 3)

Frankuss, trained by Mark Johnston
Just a quick update. 

The Earl of Sefton Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) for 4yo+. At the time of writing, there are nine entrants for this race over 1m 1f on the Rowley Mile. The going is described as good to soft. Aidan O'Brien trains the tissue priced favourite in Deauville, racing in the familiar silk of Mrs Fitri Hay. The sole representative of Frankel is Frankuus, trained by Mark Johnston. Frankie Dettori is booked to ride the 8/1 shot. Readers may remember this grey colt won on debut. His most noted performance at two was winning at Group 3 when racing at Chantilly, France. Of his eight races at three, a Group 3 victory at Haydock when beating Mount Logan by less than one length. His last two performances at three where somewhat disappointing.     

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Frankel Watch: Roger Varian Going Places

Going Places, trained by Roger Varian
Very much in the mold of his mentor, Michael Jarvis, Roger Varian has proven himself to be a professional, studious and dignified trainer of the highest order. 

It's fair to say that last year's crop of two-year-olds didn't set the world on fire although To Wafij, Madeline and others showed ability. 

I'm not sure how many Frankel juveniles this Newmarket-based handler has trained so it will be interesting to see how Going Places takes this formative season. 

This chestnut colt races in the familiar silks of Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum. This January foal is out of the mare Kor Sheed who was trained by Luca Cumani. She raced ten times from 6f - 1m. She won four times, placed on four other occasions. A listed winner on her second start when ridden by Kieren Fallon. Kor Sheed concluded her career winning at Group 3 when racing at San Siro, Italy. 

This home bred could well be one of the stable's leading juveniles.  

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Frankel Stars Head for York Dante Stakes (Group 2)

Ill fated Dante Stakes Winner Permian
Looking ahead to May 17th (3:30 York). 

Interesting to see that Frankel has no less than nine three-year-olds entered at this early closing stage for the Dante Stakes (Group 2)

Take a look at the entries here

Without Parole

Six length winner for John Gosden on debut. 


Trained by Aidan O'Brien. This bay colt raced five times at two. Dual winner, once at Group 3, and runner-up in the Royal Lodge Stakes (Group 2) when loosing by a head to Roaring Lion. 


Aidan O'Brien has this bay colt entered for a number of top-flight races. He ran five times at two winning at Group 2 and third placed at the Currugh when outpointed in the National Stakes (Group 1).


Mark Johnston's bay colt is out of 1000 Guineas winner Attraction. Winner on both his two starts at two including the Tattersalls Stakes (Group 3). 


Another one for Aidan O'Brien in the ownership of Flaxman Stables Ireland Ltd. Tipperary maiden stakes winner by a head but not extended. Finished last of eight at Newmarket when stepping up to pattern class.   


Interesting bay colt who is yet to make his debut for John Gosden in the ownership of Lady Bamford. This home bred is out of the exceptional Sariska who took the Investec Oaks (Group 1) for Michael Bell. As well know for refusing to race on her last two outings. Won over £700,000 in total earning.   

Marechal Ney 

Unraced three-year-old trained by John Gosden in the ownership of A E Oppenheimer. This bay colt is out of mare who won once for Geoff Wragg but placed at the highest level.  


A horse with a reputation before winning well on debut for Roger Charlton in the ownership of K Abdullah when 11/10f, beating a fair horse in Wadilsafa.Fancied at odds of 25/1 for the 2000 Guineas. 

History of the Dante Stakes (Group 2) raced over 1m 2f 56y at York in May.  

Named after the Yorkshire-trained winner of the Derby in 1945. Established in 1958 when Bald Eagle won for trainer Cecil Boyd-Rochfort., ridden by Harry Carr.   

Initially a group 3 race until upgraded in 1980. 

Ten winners of the Dante have gone on to win the Epsom Derby (Group 1). The most recent being Golden Horn in 2015 for John Gosden. Winner of the Prix de l'arc Triomphe (awarded Cartier Horse of the Year 2015).

Henry Cecil is the most prolific winner taking this contest 7 times (Approval (1970) - Tenby (1993). Pat Eddery had the most winning rides with 6 victories (Beldale Flutter (1981) - Tenby (1993).

Last year so Permian win for Godolphin trained by Mark Johnston. Permian lost his life when breaking a leg when crossing the line in the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Frankel Watch: Top Top Trained by Ralph Beckett

Ralph Beckett, Frankel
With the start of the Flat turf season underway, we have already seen a Brocklesby Conditions Stakes winner in the shape of Izzer, trained by Mick Channon. 

No sign of any Frankel two-year-olds hitting the course just yet. However, we can be confident many will be on the gallops. It's interesting to consider a few Frankel two-year-olds, their breeding, ownership and training. 

Taking a quick look at Frankel's offspring for this year I notice the following colt trained by Ralphe Beckett. 

Top Top

This bay son of Frankel was born on the 7th February 2016, out of a mare called Jira. She was trained by Clive Brittain in the ownership of Saeed Manana racing fifteen times in her career, achieving two wins: a maiden and a Listed race. Her highest official rating being 100. A fair horse who competed at Group class. 

Top Top was bred by Darley Stud Management Co Ltd. He races in the colours of King Power Racing Co Ltd and cost 260,000G when purchased by Sackvilledonald from Tattersalls October Yearling Sales (Book 1) 2017.    

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Frankel Hopes Head to Newmarket 1000 Guineas

Veracious wins easily at Newmarket
Our recent blog post showed 4 Frankel candidates entered for the 2000 Guineas. Now it's the turn of the fillies' Classic over one mile. 

So how many of Frankel's progeny are earmarked for 3:35 Newmarket on Sunday 6th May? 

Just a couple of contenders.

Contingent trained by Dermot Weld. This daughter of Frankel is out of a Group 1 winning mare who achieved a highest official rating of 112. Contingent made a winning debut at Leopardstown when racing over one mile on soft going. This 9/4f was backed from 3/1 and won in ''comfortable'' fashion. This bay filly isn't the betting for the 1000 Guineas but that may change nearer the race. However, she has been given as a possible entrant for the Epsom Investec Oak (1st June) and ante-post price of 25/1. In addition, the Darley Irish Oaks (Group 1) (fillies) is penciled in at the 5:45 Curragh 21st July 2018. 

The other hope is Veracious trained by Sir Michael Stoute. This daughter of Frankel is out of a Group 1 placed mare. Veracious finished third when 3/1f at Newbury back in September. However, she put in a fine display second start at Newmarket when the same odds, drawing clear of twelve-strong field to win by four ''easy'' lengths. This bay filly is owned by Cheveley Park Stud at presently priced 20/1 to win the Qipco 1000 Guineas. 

Take a look at the 1000 Guineas entries here.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

4 Frankel Entries for 2000 Guineas

Elarqam fancied for the 2000 Guineas
With the Flat turf season on the horizon, punters may be holding ante-post wagers (keen to see if the price has shortened) or just intrigued to see how the market is shaping up. 

Frankel Blog is only interested in one aspect of this Classic taking place at Newmarket on Saturday 5th May 2018. Obviously, it is those three-year-olds sired by Frankel. I wasn't sure how many colts/fillies would hold an entries at this stage

Four horses:

Without Parole 

A colt trained by John Gosden and impressive six-length winner at 8/13f. This fine prospect is owned by John & Tanya Gunther. [No odds for 2000 Guineas]


This well-bred son of Frankel is out of star performer Attraction, who won the 1000 Guineas among many notable races. Elarqam has won both his two starts to date (10/11f & 11/8f). A lovely debut effort when staying on strongly at York. Then ''eased close home'' when taking the Tattersalls Stakes (Group 3) at Newmarket. Both races where over 7f. He is priced 14/1 to win the 2000 Guineas for Mark Johnston in the ownership of Hamdan Al Maktoum. 

Red Mist 

This three-year-old is out of the dam Red Dune. Simon Crisford managed to get a short-head win from this bay colt on debut. He lost by a short-head when stepping up to Listed class at Newbury over 7f. Red Mist ran out a sterling effort when fourth of seven, beaten just over four lengths, in the Champagne Stakes (Group 2) at Doncaster. A fair effort considering this February foal was keen.[No odds for 2000 Guineas] 


Roger Charlton is a class trainer and very selective with Group entries at two. It is worth noting this son of Frankel who is out of African Rose, made his winning debut at Ascot in September. Never a bad sign for this stable and leading owner K Abdullah. The 11/10f was giving a ''promising'' tag when beating Wadilsafa who has a reputation himself as a talented horse. Herculean is priced 25/1 to win the 2000 Guineas. 

Saxon Warrior is favourite at 5/1. This son of Deep Impact - trained by Aidan O'Brien - has won all three starts to date including the Racing Post Trophy Stakes (Group 1). He has achieved prize winning of £191,937. 

Monday, 5 March 2018

Frankel Progeny Heads to Cheltenham Festival 2018

Solo Saxophone Wins atatterick C
Frankel is no stranger to talented progeny. With the average sales price being £500,000 you don't get much change when putting your hand in your pocket. 

As a wise horse breeder once said: ''Every horse has its story to tell.'' That is true of horses bred by this super stallion. In truth, the majority of owners lucky enough to be able to afford such thoroughbreds have visions of Classic race success. Perhaps the 2000 Guineas. Epsom Derby. Whatever their expectations, very few owners dream of limitation.   

It's interesting to consider that one of Frankel's offspring will take a different course and find himself heading to the Cheltenham Festival 2018. 

There is one candidate who could well hit the headlines or gain a few sound bites.

Solo Saxophone is a son of Frankel out of an American-bred mare called Society Hostess. This bay colt is owned by BGC Racing and trained by Dan Skelton. This home bred came from Moyglare Stud Farm but sold at three for 62,000 euros. 

He was probably a slow maturing type because Solo Saxophone didn't make his debut until three when trained by Dermot Weld. He was pretty fancied in the betting on all five starts at three with a couple of second places and a close third when losing at Tipperary by less than one length. His final start at three so him visit Gowran Park when finishing down the field when seventh of sixteen at odds of 6/1.

Solo Saxophone found the winning way when making his debut in a juvenile hurdle at Catterick where he won ''going away'' at 6/4f. 

Stepping up to two miles at Wetherby, he led towards the finish to win by half a length at 5/4f.

Most recent, he stepped up in class and distance [2 mile 1f ] when visiting Exeter taking on four rivals in a listed race worth £14,237.50. The bookies had him priced at 12/1 drifting from 9/1. This April foal finished tailed off in third place behind the two favourites and very impressive winner Vision Des Flos, trained by Colin Tizzard. 

Solo Saxophone has a couple of entries for the Cheltenham Festival. 

Wednesday 14th March 

4:50 Cheltenham -

The Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (2m 1/2f) 

Solo Saxophone 25/1

Friday 16th March 

1:30 Cheltenham - 

The JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) (2m 1f)

Solo Saxophone 50/1