Ventura: the Juddmonte homebred landed the Matriarch Stakes just days after trainer Bobby Frankel passed away in NovemberPICTURE: EDWARD WHITAKER
Tribute to Frankel as Juddmonte lands fifth Eclipse Award
TEDDY Beckett, racing manager to Prince Khalid Abdullah, on Tuesday yesterday paid tribute to the talent of the late Bobby Frankel as well as Prince Khalid's passion for racing following the announcement that Juddmonte had received an Eclipse Award as leading US breeder for the fifth time.
Juddmonte's final 2009 prize-money figure of $7,055,634 fell behind Adena Springs and Eugene Melnyk in the US leading breeders' list but its US season was unrivalled in terms of quality with Champs Elysees, Midday, Midships and Ventura between them winning six Group/Grade 1 races.
"They are hugely prestigious awards, so they mean a lot not only to Prince Khalid but to the people on the farms both in Kentucky and Europe. What makes it so special is that it is recognition by your peers," said Beckett.
"The operations on both sidesof the Atlantic are geared towards raising high-class horses - the broodmare band contains some outstanding families that have been created by Juddmonte over time - and it wouldn't work without the drive and passion of someone like Prince Khalid at the helm."
Prince Khalid Abdullah bought his first racehorses in 1977 and today owns nine bloodstock properties worldwide; among them Banstead Manor Stud and Ferrans Stud in Britain and Ireland, and Stonechurch Stud in the US. Juddmonte stands 12 stallions in Britain and the US including leading young sires Oasis Dream, Dansili and Empire Maker.
Although the majority of his horses start their racing careers in Europe, a vital component in the operation's success wasthe late Bobby Frankel, who trained the likes of Aptitude, Banks Hill, Empire Maker, Exbourne, and more recently Ventura to carry to win for Juddmonte at Grade 1 level. Frankel died last November, just days before Ventura captured the Matriarch Stakes.
"Receiving this award is poignant because Bobby Frankel was a major part of our success, not only in the US but for Juddmonte worldwide," said Beckett. "His care and attention towards the horses was second to none."