Frankel in his box at Banstead Manor StudPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Book of 130 mares
awaits Frankel next year
CHAMPIONS Midday, Danedream and Alexander Goldrun are just some of the big names lined up to visit Frankel in his first season at Banstead Manor Stud next year.
A select book of 130 mares will await the son of Galileo when he starts covering at a fee of £125,000 from February 15, among them other high-profile names including Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf heroine Zagora, who recently changed hands for $2.5 million to Mandore International at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale in Kentucky, Japanese champion Vodka and last year's Kentucky Broodmare of the Year Oatsee, a daughter of Unbridled who has bred four Graded stakes winners including Preakness Stakes hero Shackleford.
Approximately 100 of his book will be from outside breeders, including those based as far afield as Japan and America. Of those accepted to date, 33 have either won a Group or Grade 1 race or are Group/Grade 1 producers.
"We'd always try and keep a restriction on the number of mares he covers," said Philip Mitchell, general manager of Banstead Manor Stud. "This is an exclusive horse and we want to keep him exclusive.
"If someone is spending that level of nomination fee [£125,000] to use Frankel, you don't want to get to a situation where you find a large number of his progeny being sold. By keeping him to 130, we won't be flooding the market. Juddmonte are owner-breeders and we'll aim to get the right balance between owner-breeders and commercial breeders."
Juddmonte's breeding plans for 2013 are still in the process of being finalised but it is expected that between 20 to 30 of their broodmare band will visit Frankel next season. Those already pencilled in include their 2010 broodmare of the year Binche, dam of Group 1 winners Proviso and Byword, Heat Haze, a dual Grade 1-winning half-sister to Dansili and Cacique, and Clepsydra, dam of the Group 1-winning fillies Passage Of Time and Timepiece.
Six-time Group 1 winner Midday and her dam Midsummer will also be among his book.
"We have certain mares that whatever we send them to, they produce the business," said Mitchell. "For instance, Clepysydra is one of those mares. The stallion could be the best in the world but I feel it's hugely improtant to get the right calibre of mare.
"It's still early days for us [Juddmonte] with the matings for next year but Frankel will be getting first pick. We want to give Frankel every opportunity at stud and we'll be supporting him as much as possible. But it is very difficult - we're spoiled at the moment because we've also got Dansili and Oasis Dream and we can't ignore them. It'll be a balance."
Breeders have long used Juddmonte stallions in the knowledge that the roster is strongly supported by the operation each year. And it is a policy which has paid off throughout their history with Juddmonte breeding the first Group 1 winners by residents past and present such as Known Fact (Warning), Zafonic (Xaar), Distant View (Distant Music) and Dansili (Rail Link).
"His Highness takes the view that 'If I don't support the stallions, how can I expect other breeders to?'"said Mitchell. "We've got a good record of supporting our own stallions and we've got the broodmare band to be able to do it.
"The stats tell us that only one in nine stallions are successful but having said that, not every horse will be covering the calibre of mare that Frankel will."