Frankel's first-crop yearlings on offer at Keeneland September
Of all the young sires whose first crop are yearlings, Frankel must rank as the most exciting. That happens when you are celebrated as world champion, compile a 14-for-14 career mark while competing at the highest level, and rewrite the Timeform recordbook with an all-time high rating of 147.
It also helps that you're by one of the greatest stallions ever in Galileo, and out of a mare by dual hemisphere influence Danehill -- thereby bred on a particularly potent cross. Factor in that you're the homebred product of a renowned bloodstock enterprise (Juddmonte), which will support you mightily with the choicest mares, and you've got stratospheric levels of expectation.
No wonder that his first babies have commanded a pretty penny, yen, and euro. His 2014 weanlings sold for an average of approximately $1 million, according to Brisnet, led by a €1.8 million (approximately $2.26 million) filly at Goffs November.
Frankel yearlings strutted their stuff at Arqana's August Sale at Deauville last month, with his notable sellers including a filly who brought $1,277,650 and a colt who went for $833,250.
That's a tidy return on his £125,000 stud fee (roughly $190,000) at Juddmonte's Banstead Manor Stud in Newmarket.
If you want to scope out Frankel's first-crop yearlings on offer in the U.S., you've got to go to Keeneland September. The legend has five cataloged, all colts, and all of course in Book 1. None has appeared at public auction before.
One sells during Monday's opener, another goes on Tuesday, one has been withdrawn, and the last two tour the ring on Wednesday:
Hip 183 (consigned by Man O War Farm, agent for Reiko and Michael Baum): out of a Kingmambo half-sister to Group 2-winning juvenile Requinto; second dam is Irish highweight/English co-highweight juvenile filly Damson.
Hip 332, named Frankly Speaking (consigned by Lane's End, agent): produced by Grade 2 heroine India, from the immediate family of Grade 1 winners To Honor and Serve and Angela Renee.
Hip 548 (consigned by Man O War Farm, agent for Reiko and Michael Baum) has been withdrawn. But for the record, he's the first registered foal from Reaching, a three-quarter sister to European champion filly Peeping Fawn and a half-sister to French champion two-year-old colt and sire Thewayyouare. With the yearling's second dam being Blush With Pride, this is the superb family of Rags to Riches.
Hip 571 (consigned by Indian Creek, agent): an Irish-bred half-brother to Grade 1 star Laragh and to millionaire Summer Front, out of the El Prado mare Rose of Summer.
Hip 698 (consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent): produced by an Intikhab half-sister to one of Frankel's old victims, Excelebration. Unfortunate to come along in the same year as Frankel, Excelebration was a top-class miler himself, as evidenced by his status as a multiple Group 1 winner and highweight in France as well as Germany and Ireland.
With prominent buyers from the world over at Keeneland, especially for Book 1, this quartet promises to spark plenty of interest. Tune in to the livestream at Keeneland.com to watch the fireworks.
Frankel photo courtesy of Juddmonte via Twitter.