Thursday, 14 November 2019

7 Top Frankel Two-Year-Olds in 2019

Quadrilateral win bet365 Fillies Mile (Group 1) at Newmarket for Roger Charlton ridden by Jason Watson

Frankel never ceases to amaze. 

A legend on the racecourse and super sire extraordinaire. Juddmonte Farms must be over the moon with his continued success. Frankel Blog has followed the journey of many a talented Frankel two-year-old for this season of 2019. Personally, I thought last year's juveniles were a touch lacking. However, there was much to write about this Flat turf season which saw a host of winners including patter-class success. 

Take a moment to review the list of two-year-old Frankel offspring that have captured the imagination. 

Visit Juddmonte Stallion Frankel - Two-Year-Olds.  

My Top 7 Frankel Two-Year-Olds of 2019:

1) Quadrilateral - Trained by Roger Charlton 

Without question, Quadrilateral has proven a star turn this Flat turf season winning her first three starts for Khalid Abdullah. This chestnut daughter of Frankel out of the mare Nimble Fingers has progressed with racing. She won on debut at Newbury (7f) beating Mambo Nights by a neck. 

This April foal improved markedly on her second start over course and distance, ridden, once again, by Jason Watson. Being held up off the pace, she made smooth headway to lead well over one furlong out before drawing right away to an impressive victory beating the second horse [Kalsara, trained by Andrew Balding] by nine lengths.    

If that wasn't enough, Charlton had his eye on the biggest prize. Quadrilateral headed to Newmarket, stepping up to one mile, to compete in the bet365 Fillies' Mile (Group 1). She needed to be at the top of her game, chasing Hugo Palmer's Powerful Breeze who, for all the world, looked to have stolen a march on the Frankel filly who had several lengths to make up. In the closing furlong, Quadrilateral ran on with purpose to collar the leader and won by a head at a starting price of 9/4. 

She is now favourite to take the 1,000 Guineas to be held at Newmarket in 2020.

2) Queen's Daenerys - Trained by Roger Varian 

Beyond Quadrilateral, the following horses are simply my opinion based on racecourse achievement and promise. 

Queen's Daenerys was always held in high regard by Carlburg Stables, Newmarket. Roger Varian had a decent string of juveniles and this bay daughter of Frankel out of an unraced US mare [Song To Remember] made a pleasing debut at Ascot when running on well to finish over three lengths behind Richard Hannon's Cloak Of Spirits who was in flying form for her debut. 

In the ownership of H H SH Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, this February foal stepped up to one mile on her second start at Newmarket when beaten John Gosden's Wasaayef by a neck. The 5/4f was quoted as: ''stayed on gamely.''

Her third start saw her finish fifth place in the Fillies' Mile behind Quadrilateral. The 16/1 wasn't held in quite the standing of Charlton's filly but ran a sterling race when beaten just over five-and-a-half lengths.

3) Alpinista - Trained by Sir Mark Prescott 

This grey daughter of Frankel out of a four-time winning mare [Alwilda] (similarly owned and trained) started her career in imperious fashion when winning ''unchallenged'' at Epsom at odds of 9/4. Although it wasn't the strongest of races, there was a lot to like about Kirsten Rausing's February foal. 

Alpinista was given a lofty string of entries that saw her head to Goodwood when competing in the Ladbroke Prestige Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies). After being restless in the stalls, and slowly away, she was a touch outpaced but plugged on to finish a creditable sixth place beaten a similar number of lengths. By all accounts, connections must have been expecting a little more from the 3/1 shot. 

Connections made the judgment Alpinista needed a stiffer test of stamina to show her worth and headed to France for her final two-year-old start when competing at Longchamp in the Prix d'Amumale (Group 3) (Fillies) on good to soft going. Once again, she toiled at the rear of the field and hard ridden to make ground but plugged on well to finish fourth, missing third place on the nod. Alpinista lost by one length and looks a stayer in the making. 

4) Melnikova - Sir Michael Stoute 

Freemason Lodge Stables had at least 10 Frankel two-year-olds this 2019 season. I must admit, I was raving about Melnikova. This daughter of Frankel races in the familiar silks of Cheveley Park Stud, the mare, Safina, who was similarly owned and trained. This chestnut filly was priced 8/1 when making her debut at Kempton over seven-furlong, taking her time to get going, but flying at the line to win by a neck. Interestingly, Sir Michael Stoute fielded another Frankel debutant that day in Tanita who finished third, losing by a length, and looking sure to win after taking the lead in the final furlong. 

Melnikova was made 5/4 on her next start. In a tough-looking seven-runner field at Newbury, she was put in her place by Quadrilateral (Frankel) who powered home to win by nine lengths. Melnikova led for most but had to settle for third place when losing second to Andrew Balding's Kalsara. It will be interesting to see whether Stoute's chestnut filly will be targetted at the 1,000 Guineas. It's possible she wasn't at her best at Newbury, although beaten by a filly who has proven her class.

5) Juan Elcano - Kevin Ryan 

Racing in the familiar silks of Sheik Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum, this chestnut son of Frankel was always highly regarded by Ryan and seen flying up the gallops at Hambleton Lodge, Hambleton, Thirsk. The mare [Whatami] wasn't the fastest of horses on her three career starts. However, this April foal was sent off 6/4 favourite when making his debut at Haydock over seven furlongs. He stayed on well to beaten Mark Johnston's Subjectivist by a neck, beating the third by eight lengths. 

Just over one month later, Juan Alcano competed in the bet365 Superlative Stakes (Group 2) at Newmarket. He ran well, chasing the eventual winner, Mystery Power, losing by one length. 

His concluding start of the Flat turf season saw him race at Doncaster in the Pommery Champagne Stakes (Group 2). A small field of just five runners saw Juan Elcano finish a respectable third place who was beaten a length at odds of 4/1. 


6) Highest Ground - Sir Michael Stoute

This bay colt is a son of Frankel out of a winning French-raced mare. Highest Ground was fancied to go well on his debut at Leicester when running on well over 7f to win at odds of 3/1. Racing in the familiar silks of the Niarchos Family time will tell how this son of Frankel figures in the pecking order but a promising start.

7) Franconia - John Gosden

Racing in the Frankel silks, Franconia, a bay daughter of Frankel out of a twice-winning mare [Winter Sunrise] was fancied to win on debut at Chelmsford. The 9/4 joint-favourite ran on well but was denied by neck to finish a creditable second place. Better will be seen on her next start. Could make into a decent three-year-old.