All emotions as Frankel meets a century of stakes winners

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The one who conquers all Frankel (UK) set a new record on Saturday when Emotion (GB), the 14-year-old stallion with only seven crops of racing age, became the 100th race winner worldwide.

Not many horses are given a two-hour Valentine’s Day special BBC Radio 5 Live at the start of their first breeding season, but not many horses are Frankel. Those associated with the Juddmonte Champion who were interviewed for this unprecedented 2013 terrestrial broadcast were keen to point out that a top-notch racehorse does not necessarily guarantee that horse will have it all in the stallion stable. However, Frankel does just that.

Frankel, who became a first time champion sire in Great Britain and Ireland in 2021 and succeeded his own outstanding sire Galileo (Irish) in the year of his death, is now responsible for 25 Group/Grade 1 winners and currently leads the European Table for the 2022 season, in which he has already been beaten by Classic winners Westover (GB), Homeless Songs (GB) and Nashwa (GB) and Group 1 winners Inspiral (GB), Alpinista (GB) and Onesto ( Irish) was represented. He became the fastest sire in history to have 50 group winners in 2021 and his current record in this regard has already increased to 67.

Of course, Frankel didn’t lack opportunities, because from the beginning he was sent some of the best-bred and best-performing mares. The delay between the coverage of that first book and the appearance of her offspring on the racetrack gave the naysayers ample time to crawl Frankel’s stock appearing at the sales, but once they hit the racetrack, the doubts soon began to dissipate.

His first runner, Cunco (Irish), won on debut in May 2016, then finished third at Chesham and won the G3 Sandown Classic Trial the following season. From the same vintage, Fair Eva (GB) – appropriately a home-bred Juddmonte – became Frankel’s first black type winner in the G3 Princess Margaret S. At the end of the year, a first breakthrough at the highest level came in Japan Soul Stirring (Jpn) won the G1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies. The daughter of top-class racer Stacelita (Fr) (Monsoon {Ger}) then scored a double first place the following season when she won the G1 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) to give Frankel an important first Classic winner.

It also portended his increasingly international influence as a sire, although he has never left Banstead Manor’s stud farm since moving from Warren Place in October 2012. Instead, mares came to him from all over the world. From the outset, Frankel has covered the period from Newmarket to the Southern Hemisphere, with demand for the service growing in recent years.

No doubt this was partly due to the success of his first Australian Group 1 winner, Hungry Heart (Aus), whose dam Harlech (GB) (Pivotal {GB}) was bought at the Tattersalls July Sale by Godolphin of Yulong Investments and sent direct to Frankel to be covered before leaving for Australia.

Out of the same cross as Hungry Heart comes Frankel’s first European Group 1 winner Cracksman (GB), who is now a promising first season sire for Darley, while the G1 St James’s Palace S. winner Without Parole (GB) is available stands Newsells Park Stud and Logician (GB), one of Frankel’s eight European Classic winners, has joined the National Hunt ranks at Shade Oak Stud. The number of Group 1 winning sons at stud in Europe will soon be growing, not least when last season’s Derby and Irish Derby winners, Godolphin stablemates Adayar (Irish) and Hurricane Lane ( Irish), eventually retiring.

Frankel’s most recent benchmark to date still matches the record set by his compatriot Danehill from his own kennel by Juddmonte in reaching the 100 Stakes winners milestone, although Danehill has of course commuted to Australia and covered larger books there than Frankel’s southern hemisphere in England. In the race for a century of black type winners, he has surpassed his own remarkable sire, Galileo, as well as another outstanding British stallion, Dubawi (Irish).

On the track, perhaps the most memorable image of Frankel’s three-year tour de force was his stunning triumph in the G1 2000 Guineas, where he took the lead so early and so far it was hard to believe he could hold it. He did just that, and now Frankel’s infectious talent echoes throughout his stallion career.

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