Sires of Frankel ready to step out of the shadows of their famous Dad

Sires of Frankel ready to step out of the shadows of their famous Dad
By Sportsbeat

06/05/2017 at 16:25Updated

It's the first rule of fatherhood - you always want your kids to do better than you.

But when dad is the peerless Frankel, viewed as one of the greatest racehorses in history, then you aren't making it easy for your offspring.

Unbeaten during a storied 14-race career, his record of nine consecutive group one victories may never be surpassed.

It's six years since the first of those giddying triumphs, a victory at Newmarket in the 2000 Guineas which was described by some as the greatest ever performance on a British racecourse.

Those who were there that day for the Qipco-sponsored opening classic of the British flat season certainly won't forget the sight of jockey Tom Queally accelerating away from his rivals with a freakish front running performance.

It was a racing display that left you breathless on second, third and fourth viewing.

Ten runners go to post for this race's renewal and Frankel is back on the race card, with two runners colts from his first crop of foals, conceived just a few months after retirement in 2012.

Eminent and Dream Castle are looking to write the next chapter in Frankel's remarkable career, as those who followed the wonder horse so loyally switch their attentions from odds and form to breeding and bloodlines.

Eminent powered to victory at the Craven Stakes in Newmarket last month but trainer Marytn Meade is quick to dampen down any growing hype about his charge.

"It's hard to forget Frankel's 2000 Guineas, I remember waiting for the field to come back to him but he just got further and further ahead," recalls Meade, who is still waiting for his first Classic winner and views long-time favourite Aidan O'Brien's Churchill as the one to beat.

"I don't think that will be the story of this year's race but we have been delighted with the work he has been doing at home. When you watch him you don't think he is moving fast but then you look at your stopwatch. He doesn't gallop, he has a long stride, so he more lollops.

"I only watched Frankel from a far but I think they look similar, have similar markings. Eniment just wants to be a winner, so I suppose he gets that from his Dad.

"Just going there with a good chance is so exciting, it hardly bears thinking about what it would be like to win."

If Eminent follows his father into the winners' enclosure at flat racing's HQ then it will be quite a coup for Meade and his son-in-law, the bloodstock agent Dermot Farrington.

Dismissed as too big and too gangly, he was bought for just 150,000 guineas, a pretty cheap price when you consider the cost of a trip to Frankel at Banstead Manor Stud is 125,000 pounds and his first foal went to auction for 1.15 million.

Champion jockey Jim Crowley gets the ride again and is upbeat Eminent can deliver his first win in a British Champion Series race since 2014.

"He was the best two-year-old I rode last year, without a doubt," he said.

"I was really impressed by what he did in the Craven Stakes. He out the stalls first and he only hit top gear approaching the line. He goes better and better when he gets quicker too."

But it's not just the sons of Frankel that are in the spotlight this weekend, with daughter Fair Eva a genuine contender for Sunday's 1000 Guineas, a race that many think remains at the mercy of Aidan O'Brien's Rhododendron.

But Roger Charlton's Fair Eva - who races in the same green silks with the pink slash as her father - showed something special when routing the opposition under Frankie Dettori to win the Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot last summer.

Since then she's suffered two odds-on reverses but Charlton remains optimistic a new season will see a return to her best.

"Her Ascot performance last year was a better time figure than any two-year-old filly in Europe, including Rhododendron," he said.

"If she can reproduce that figure and performance she’s going to go very close in the 1000 Guineas. She's in a good shape and while I hugely Rhododendron, the trials have been a bit inconclusive and it's an open year.

"She has wintered really well. She has grown a lot and put a lot of weight on - she is a much bigger filly than last year."

It will only be a matter of time before a sire of Frankel wins a Classic - he is proving quite the stallion already. But no-one will forget the first and what better place to do than Newmarket at the Guineas festival, where the story all began.

Sportsbeat 2017