Frankel continues to win even in retirement

Photo © Alan Piper, via Flickr

Breeding champion racehorses is one of the toughest elements of horse racing given the complexities of the job at hand. A stud horse may have dominated his field over the course of his career, but the step to producing the next generation of talent is anything other than predictable. However, the great British racehorse Frankel can be championed as a success story, making the transition from one of the best competitors to ever grace the track to a top sire.

On the racecourse, Frankel was nothing short of sensational during his three-season career. Sir Henry Cecil’s charge won all 14 of his races, including the 2,000 Guineas, St James’s Palace Stakes, Sussex Stakes, International Stakes and Champion Stakes. He was ranked as the number one thoroughbred horse of the year in 2011 and 2012 before he retired after winning the Champion Stakes at Ascot, bowing out on the highest of notes.

Since his move to stallion, Frankel has sired a number of champion racehorses and the production line of elite talent continues to this day. Hurricane Lane and Adayar are two of his best progeny and will be contending for major honors in 2022. If you bet on horse racing, you can find odds for both horses at good prices to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe next season. Both horses were beaten last term in the event, but if you follow today’s horse racing tips, the two competitors are backed strongly to bounce back next year.

Adayar achieved a feat that not even Frankel accomplished during his career by winning The Derby in the 2021 season. The Irish thoroughbred was outstanding at Epsom Downs to finish four-and-a-half lengths ahead of the rest of the field. Hurrican Lane notched the third leg of the Triple Crown at Doncaster Racecourse with a sublime run in the St Leger Stakes. Although both horses failed at Longchamp, Hurricane Lane did match his father’s performance at the Champion Stakes to win the race for the first time.

The strength of their performances has highlighted the value of Frankel’s pedigree compared to even other greats of modern horse racing. American Pharoah won the American Triple Crown with an astounding 2015 season. He was put to stud straight after his victory at the Breeders’ Cup Classic, but his life after racing has not yielded the champion racehorses expected.

Out of his progeny, Van Gogh has been the best of his offspring to date, and even his record is underwhelming. The American thoroughbred was put into Aidan O’Brien’s yard for the 2020 season and claimed a notable victory in the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud, but other than that, he failed to rise to the occasion in both the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Frankel appears to be an outlier compared to the other modern-day greats of the sport in his career as a sire. It proves that breeding is fine art and takes more nuance than simply having a champion racehorse at your disposal.