FRANKEL(GB) is doing much the same job for the thoroughbred breeding industry as he did for flat racing.

KEVIN BLAKE argues in TDN (Thoroughbred Daily News) that Frankel (Galileo) has been the most important horse in the modern history of British Flat racing. Not only did his phenomenal achievements on the track attract untold numbers of eyes to the sport for all the right reasons, he effectively launched British Champions Day on the road to success by himself, starring in the first two years of that meeting.

Never before has there been such expectation and excitement surrounding a sire‘s first runners on the track as there has been this year with Frankel‘s offspring. His progeny were scrutinised to an unprecedented extent, with every runner that represented him generating headlines regardless of whether they won or lost. With so many of his runners being out of well-known race mares or broodmares, he has stoked the levels of interest in the bloodstock side of the sport amongst casual racing fans to all-new levels.

Finding a fair way to assess the performance of his first runners presents a challenge in itself. With a nomination fee of £125,000, Frankel was only accessible to a select few breeders, yet he still produced more live foals than all bar three of the other 18 first-season sires of note.

Even more significantly, the quality of mares that produced Frankel‘s foals were on a completely different level to what his rival sires mated with. Thus, perhaps it is only fair to assess Frankel out on his own and use a combination of the best individual figures as well as the average figures achieved in each category by the remaining 18 first-season sires of note to give some context as to what he has achieved relative to the rest.

In this case, I have used Racing Post Ratings and while I usually use 90+ and 105+ to assess a sire‘s progeny, given that in this case it is only 2-year-olds being dealt with, I have reduced these parameters to 85+ and 100+. All of the statistics are correct for races that took place in Europe up to the end of October.

The first number that immediately jumps off the page is just how relatively few of Frankel’s progeny made it to the track prior to November. Given the depth of coverage that his runners gen-erated throughout the season, it is remarkable to think that just under 32% of his entire crop made it to the track in Europe up to that point.

Despite having what is the second-lowest percent-age of runners-to-foals of the 19 first-season sires analysed, he still provided the highest number of RPR85+ and RPR100+ runners amongst all of the first-season sires. For 42.9% of his runners to have exceeded RPR85 and 17.1% of them to achieved RPR100+ is a remarkable achievement. That the closest rival to him in these fields produced just 25% and 10.8% of such runners respectively puts those numbers into context.

While they are not included in the above statistics, it should also be noted that the handful of Frankel‘s progeny that have run in Japan have been performing well, most notably with TDN Rising Star‘ Mi Suerte (Jpn) winning a Gr3 contest earlier this month.

Inevitably, some commentators will focus on Frankel‘s failure to produce a Gr1 winner or even a runner that was placed in a Group 1, but the rate at which he produced RPR100+ runners in his first crop of 2-year-olds suggests that it will only be a matter of time before he gains his first Group 1 winner.

While Frankel has already impressed with his first racecourse representatives, next year promises to be even more intriguing. Given that he is a son of Galileo that was at his very best as a 4-year-old, hopes will be very high that Frankel‘s progeny will be even better as 3-year-olds.

One must also consider that over 70 of his first foals have yet to appear on the track. These include bluebloods such as colts out of Dar Re Mi (GB), Zagora (Fr) and Queen‘s Logic (Ire) and fillies out of Finsceal Beo (Ire), Midday (GB), Alexander Goldrun (Ire), Danedream (Ger) and Dancing Rain (Ire) to name just a few. TDN.



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