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Frankel in his box

Frankel: helped his sire Galileo and breeder Juddmonte win awards

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)  

Racing Post Bloodstock Awards 2012

We highlight the best of the breeding industry over the past year

Sire of the year
A cakewalk for Galileo for the second year running. Progeny of the Coolmore juggernaut earned nearly double the prize-money of the offspring of his closest pursuer, Montjeu, in Europe and his tally of 35 individual stakes winners was 16 more than the next best, Pivotal.

This was also the year Galileo's son Frankel convinced us he was the best horse we would see in our lifetime. Frankel may be retired but with Racing Post Trophy winner Kingsbarns, plus other promising two-year-olds such as Eye Of The Storm, Foundry, Secret Gesture and Telescope in the pipeline for next year, it may still be difficult for his rival sires to wrest this award from him in 2013.

Breakthrough sire of the year
There was huge expectation for the first two-year-old crop of Holy Roman Emperor, not least because he was drafted into the Coolmore stallion barn to replace the subfertile George Washington and inherited some blue-chip broodmares from him.

When Holy Roman Emperor got off the mark with his first runner on the first day of the 2010 Flat season and that winner, High Award, went on to land the Woodcote Stakes, his reputation seemed to be in the ascent. But it was a false dawn and by the end of that season High Award remained the sire's only stakes winner.

Holy Roman Emperor's fee was cut from €17,500 to €10,000 for 2011, when he did much better, getting six European stakes winners including the brilliant filly Banimpire.

His fee crept back up to €12,500 this year and the stream of stakes winners turned into a flood - ten in total, including 1,000 Guineas heroine Homecoming Queen, Royal Ascot scorer Ishvana and high-class juvenile filly Maureen. Fears he was a filly sire were allayed when he came up with the impressive Criterium de Saint-Cloud winner Morandi. He will stand at a fee of €20,000 next year.

Jumps sire of the year
Dom Alco has enjoyed a stellar year, firmly establishing himself as an outstanding source of jumping talent with progeny frequently mopping up the big Saturday chases. Standout winners include Grand National hero Neptune Collonges, Paddy Power winner Al Ferof, December Gold Cup winner Unioniste and Betfair Chase winner and leading Cheltenham Gold Cup fancy Silviniaco Conti.

However, top honours this year go to King's Theatre, who was crowned champion jumps sire for the first time last season. The former Ballylinch Stud resident, who died in 2011, sired five individual Grade 1 winners last season, with the Nicky Henderson-trained dual Grade 1 winner Riverside Theatre the star performer.

Even though King's Theatre's final crop of foals sold this year - they were in hot demand from buyers who described them as "becoming like gold dust" and "a precious commodity" - there will still be plenty of chances to see his offspring thunder around the British and Irish countryside.

Broodmare of the year
Strong competition from Australia for this award in the shape of Helsinge, whose daughter Black Caviar took her unbeaten run to 22 with a heart-stopping victory in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, and whose son All Too Hard landed the prestigious Caulfield Guineas.

A persuasive case can also be made for the Wertheimer brothers' redoubtable producer Brooklyn's Dance, who scored a big double on Arc day by producing the winner of the feature race, Solemia, and featuring as the great-grandam of Prix Marcel Boussac winner Silasol.

But the final field is narrowed down to Kind, whose first three foals - Bullet Train, Frankel and Noble Mission - are now all stakes winners; Lagrion, whose daughter Homecoming Queen became her third Group 1 winner after Dylan Thomas and Queen's Logic; and Magnificient Style, who was represented this year by two Group 1 winners, Great Heavens and Nathaniel, and Changing Skies, who sold for $4.2 million at Keeneland. She is also the grandam of Dubai Gold Cup scorer Whispering Gallery.

Magnificient Style wins in a photo finish for the feat of producing eight stakes winners, three of them Group 1 winners, in her career, with the promise of more to come - she has a yearling colt by Oasis Dream (Throne Room), a filly foal by the same sire (Willoughby) and was covered by Fastnet Rock this year.

Breeder of the year
Lady Rothschild's massive investment in elite broodmares over the last decade was vindicated during a spectacular summer for her homebreds, among whom Eclipse hero Nathaniel, his Irish Oaks-winning sister Great Heavens and other stakes scorers Gallipot, Mince and Polygon were the stars.

There is also Jim Bolger, unique in combining the roles of owner, breeder and trainer, who produced two Group 1 winners - champion juvenile colt-elect Dawn Approach and Criterium International winner Loch Garman - with less firepower. Four of the five stakes winners he bred this year are by New Approach and Teofilo, who he made stars on the track and at stud.

But for the second year running the award goes to Juddmonte, who showed once again it has the breeding game off-pat, producing a slew of stakes winners including the exceptional Frankel and Dubai Duty Free winner Cityscape. Come 2019, the award for breeder of the decade surely beckons.

Consignor of the year
Bolger is a strong contender in this category too, for selling Dawn Approach's yearling sister for €775,000 at Goffs and his extraordinary pinhooking feat with the mare Family, who he bought in foal to Proud Citizen for $9,000 at Keeneland in 2011 and sold on for €260,000 in November, with the Proud Citizen colt making €250,000, after the emergence of Family's son Dundonnell.

The Castlebridge Consignment takes the plaudits though, with its ability to attract high-end clients and to prepare sales horses to sparkle on the big day showcased when they were the leading vendor at all three Books of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale and sold this year's dearest yearling, €2.5m Hydrogen.

Biggest bargain
Belle Royale supplied the best rags-to-riches stories of 2012. The daughter of Val Royal was bought for the minimum bid of £800 at the 2009 DBS October Yearling Sale by Mark Brisbourne, who nurtured her career from winning a Goodwood seller at two for a Racing Post Rating of 64, to winning a competitive Chester handicap at three and earning an RPR of 112.

This year Belle Royale was switched to race for Simon Callaghan and Michael Tabor in America, where she landed the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes. She was sold to become a broodmare in Japan in August.

 

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TOP TEN

STALLION £ TOTAL PRIZE
King's Theatre £928,943
Presenting £854,809
Beneficial £702,808
Milan £673,067
Oscar £656,070
Westerner £543,568
Flemensfirth £465,623
Kayf Tara £421,559
Stowaway £372,236
Midnight Legend £361,335