As one would expect when the first crop of a racing superstar reach the track, there has been a considerable amount of coverage and attention given to the early sons and daughters of Frankel (by Galileo). He has not disappointed.
When the Martyn Meade-trained Eminent won the Group 3 bet365 Craven Stakes at Newmarket recently, he became the seventh individual pattern winner for his young sire, joining an early role of honour that is headed by the classic-placed Japanese champion Soul Stirring.
Frankel's fee has been £125,000 since he began his breeding career at Banstead Manor Stud, so it is no surprise that so many of his talented offspring represent distaff families with a strong tradition of producing Group 1 horses, and Eminent is related to several classic stars and and Group 1 aces.
His only start at two was in a mile maiden on fast ground at Newmarket in late September and he went into a lot of notebooks as one to follow when taking that contest by two and three-quarter lengths from Vantage Point.
The form of that has not amounted to much, with only the second, fourth, seventh and tenth, successful since all the all-weather tracks, with the seventh being the pattern-placed Taj Mahal. That full-brother to two classic stars won just once from eight starts at two but has been highly tried and, on his seasonal reappearance at Leopardstown recently, he chased home Orderofthegarter in a mile listed contest.
The Craven Stakes was just Eminent's second race and last year's Group 1 Racing Post Trophy winner Rivet is the colt who chased him home, beaten by one and three-quarter lengths. Benbatl was a neck back in third and the time for the race was good.
Eminent is now a leading contender for next week's Group 1 Qipco 2000 Guineas. His entries also include the Group 2 Betfred Dante Stakes at York and the Group 1 Investec Derby at Epsom, and his pedigree gives him every chance of being effective at anywhere from a mile to 12 furlongs.
He was bred by Premier Bloodstock, he made 150,000gns from Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, he is a half-brother to the Richard Fahey-trained dual six-furlong scorer As Good As Gold (by Oasis Dream), and he is out of the Group 1 Fillies' Mile third You'll Be Mine (by Kingmambo).
The mare is a half-sister to three blacktype earners, of whom Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes heroine Diamondsandrubies (by Fastnet Rock) is easily most notable, and she is out of Quarter Moon (by Sadler's Wells), the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes winner who was runner-up in each of the Group 1 Oaks, Group 1 Irish Oaks and Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas.
Quarter Moon's full-sister Yesterday got her top-level win in the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas and the races in which that classic star was placed featured the Group 1 Oaks, Group 1 Prix de l'Opera, Group 1 Prix Vermeille, and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf Stakes.
Four of their other siblings are blacktype horses, although just placed rather than being stakes winners. That said, Betterbetterbetter (by Galileo) was runner-up in the Group 3 Noblesse Stakes, Hold Me Love Me (by Sadler's Wells) was third in the Group 2 Park Hill Stakes before becoming the dam of the Group 2-placed stakes winner Renew (by Dansili), and the other pair include All My Loving.
That full-sister to Quarter Moon and Yesterday was runner-up in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes and Group 2 Park Hill Stakes, she was third in both the Group 1 Oaks at Epsom and Group 1 Irish Oaks at the Curragh, and her offspring feature Thomas Chippendale (by Dansili), the tragically ill-fated Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes and Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes winner.
Having just these stars among his close relations would be more than enough to advertise Eminent's Group 1 potential, but they only tell part of the story of this remarkable family. This branch, all descendants of the placed mare Jude (by Darshaan), is one strongly associated with the Coolmore team, but the next dam is Alruccaba (by Crystal Palace), ancestor of so many stars for the Lanwades Stud team.
Jude's eight winning siblings include her Group 1-placed, stakes-winning full-sisters Arrikala and Alouette, the Group 3 Doncaster Cup scorer Alleluia (by Caerleon), and Last Second (by Alzao) who won both the Group 2 Nassau Stakes and Group 2 Sun Chariot Stakes.
The latter is the dam of Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) scorer and successful sire Aussie Rules (by Danehill), Alleluia is the dam of the Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak star Allegretto (by Galileo), and Alouette is the mare who gave us the multiple Group 1 stars Albanova (by Alzao) and Alborada (by Alzao).
Albanova won the Group 1 Preis von Europa, Group 1 Rheinland Pokal, and Group 1 Deutschlandpreis – all over 12 furlongs – and she is the dam of triple stakes winner All At Sea (by Sea The Stars) who is best at around 10 furlongs, of 11-furlong Group 3 scorer Algometer (by Archipenko), and of Alwilda (by Hernando) who got her blacktype success over two miles, three furlongs in Germany.
Dual Group 1 Champion Stakes heroine Alborada chased home Swain in the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes and her quartet of blacktype progeny include the eight and a half-furlong listed scorer Nordico Hero (by Archipenko), and the lightly-raced Alvarita (by Selkirk).
That 10 and a half-furlong listed race winner has done her part for the family at stud by coming up with the 10-furlong Leopardstown Group 3 scorer Alla Speranza (by Sir Percy) and also Altesse (by Hernando), a 12-furlong listed winner at the same venue and whose seven other pieces of blacktype include her head second in the Group 3 Give Thanks Stakes at Cork.