With his first foal born and many more on the way, Frankel’s name has wiggled its way back into headline news again. Once a champion racehorse, he now must live up to new expectations as a sire. He wouldn’t necessarily have to recreate his glorious self to become a nice sire; a handful of Group 1 winners would do just fine. But can Frankel do it?
His pedigree certainly says he can. He is by Galileo, who is arguably the best sire in the world today. The 16 year-old stallion has become a staple in the breeding world, and he has plenty of sons to succeed his dynasty when he is pensioned from stud duty. Galileo is from a marvelous female family, which is, if not a guaranteed indicator of success, a solid clue as to how good a future stallion will be. His dam, Urban Sea, won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, among other prestigious races. A half-sister to sire King’s Best, she also produced distance specialist Black Sam Bellamy, American Grade 1 winner My Typhoon, and Sea the Stars, who was regarded as the best of his generation before Frankel came along.
Frankel’s dam, Kind, is a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Powerscourt, who has since become a decent sire. And Frankel was no fluke from his dam; the daughter of Danehill has also produced Bullet Train (Sadler’s Wells), who might have been brilliant if he had not been used as Frankel’s pacesetter so often, and Joyeuse (Oasis Dream), a promising newly-turned three year-old filly with two wins in three starts.
Through his two best strains – Sadler’s Wells and Danzig – Northern Dancer shows up twice in Frankel’s pedigree. The former world champion is also inbred three times to Natalma; being inbred to an influential mare such as Natalma is known as the Rasmussen Factor, and is very desirable in some pedigree schools of thought. The great American racehorse Buckpasser also shows up twice in this pedigree, lending stamina to his already sturdy female line. Frankel traces back to Female Family No. 1, which is the line that has produced the most English classic winners to date.
Because of those two crosses to Northern Dancer, many of Frankel’s future foals boast bloodlines that have five or more influences from the great 20th century sire. This seems to be a trend that is in vogue these days, though you see it more in Europe than you do in American pedigrees. His first foal out of stakes winner Chrysanthemum has seven crosses to Natalma. Despite all this, there is the utmost confidence in Frankel as a sire, and his sparkling pedigree only serves to reinforce his brilliant race record.