Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Which Frankel Offspring Has Shown the Most Promise?

Star Frankel Sibling Cracksman
Punters across the globe went into mourning when the legendary Frankel retired to stud after winning the Champion Stakes back in October 2012. The son of Galileo won all 14 of his races and earned the highest ever Timeform rating in history, leading many to declare him the greatest thoroughbred of all time. He was simply too valuable to race on and his owners whisked him away to the breeding shed in order to make a fortune. Frankel has spent the last six years covering hundreds of mares, mainly Group 1 winners or producers, and he has sired some magnificent offspring. “In the foaling unit on February 11th 2008 at 11.40pm, little did we realise that we were witnessing the birth of a phenomenal racehorse,” said Philip Mitchell, general manager at Banstead Manor Stud. “The rest as they say is history and it is now extremely exciting that Frankel will be returning to the Stallion Unit at Banstead, some 500 yards from where he was born.” Trainer Henry Cecil said “there has never been a better or more talented thoroughbred”, as Frankel blended the speed of a champion sprinter with a magnificent turn of foot. Expectations were huge for his stallion career, and he is already proving to be a chip off the old block of Galileo. 

At Royal Ascot this year, Frankel’s offspring secured three wins and two runner-up finishes, netting a cool £750,000 in prize money. Considering he only has two full crops of foals in the racing arena thus far, it was a brilliant achievement. “Any horse that can go to Royal Ascot, the most competitive race meeting in the world, in a fabulous location, and have three winners and seven placed horses is quite extraordinary,” said Simon Mockridge, the director at Banstead Manor Stud. Cracksman is probably his most famous son. He finished 2017 as the world’s top rated three-year-old after securing an emphatic victory in the Champion Stakes, five years after his father defeated Cirrus Des Aigles. That followed a strong season in which Cracksman finished third in the Derby at Epsom, runner-up in the Irish Derby and went on to win the Great Voltigeur Stakes and the Prix Niel. He maintained that brilliant form in 2018, landing the Group 1 Ganay Stakes at Longchamp and the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Ascot. He went off as the favourite in the Prince of Wales’s, but finished second to Poet’s World. He will make his next appearance in October as he readies for either the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe or the Champion Stakes. 

Cracksman is a fine thoroughbred, but there is intense competition for the title of Frankel’s most promising offspring. His daughter, Stirring Soul, won the Japanese Oaks in 2014, and the winners have kept rolling in ever since. Frankel is second behind his own father, Galileo, in the list of sires with the most prize money from stakes winners in the past year. He is a fertile stallion and he commands huge fees, but they would skyrocket further if one of his progeny went on to win a Classic. Some see Cracksman as the greatest hope right now, but several budding stars provide serious competition. Without Parole, Monachs Glen and Baghdad all secured victory at Royal Ascot, while Lady Frankel, Last Kingdom, Finche, Eminent Weekender, UAE King, Goldrush, Aljazeera, Elarqam, Herculean, Vercious, Contingent and Nelson have all displayed great promise, and If you take a look at the horse racing markets you will see spreads available on many of Frankel’s offspring. 

Monarchs Glen might just emerge as the pick of the bunch in the months and years ahead. He is Juddmonte royalty, out of Frankel and GIII Churchill Distaff Turf Mile S. winner Mirabilis, and he has always displayed plenty of promise. He is not an easy horse to work with, but the team’s hard work is starting to pay off and he delivered a classy performance at Royal Ascot. “He’s a little bit wild, this horse,” said trainer John Gosden. “Everyone at home, my fantastic staff, has worked hard with this horse. It didn’t work out in Dubai, but we came back and we’ve done lots of sensible stuff with him and haven’t overworked him. He could yet go up in grade as long as he settles enough in his mind. He wants to do everything in a hurry, but we’re thrilled with him today.” 

If that wild streak can be correctly harnessed, Monarchs Glen could go on to enjoy plenty more success. Without Parole has gone off the boil somewhat over the past couple of months, but Monarchs Glen still has plenty of momentum. He seized the Listed Foundation S at Goodwood and Newmarket’s Darley, and this unpredictable horse seems to respond well to being thrown in at the deep end in big meetings. He shows hints of that sensational turn of foot Frankel used to display with thrilling regularity, and he could thrive when stepping up in grade. Frankel’s offspring look poised to rule the roost for years to come and it will be intriguing to see which ones fully deliver one their promise, but already the likes of Monarchs Glen and Cracksman are making great waves and there is plenty more to come.