The great Frankel (by Galileo) has made an exciting start to his stallion career. Yes, given the level of support he has received, you would expect him to be getting a large number of stakes and pattern winners, but that support is no guarantee of success. His first two crops have yielded 22 stakes winners so far, 17 of them pattern scorers and with Cracksman (Timeform 136) and Japanese champion Soul Stirring his top-level stars.
Four-year-old Cracksman has already won again at the highest level in 2018 and the stallion's second crop includes blacktype classic trial winners Nelson (Group 3 Ballysax Stakes) and Rostropovich (Listed Dee Stakes), Group 1 2000 Guineas fourth Elarqam (Timeform 120p), and the exciting Without Parole whose first two starts, both runaway wins over a mile, have earned that John Gosden trainee a Timeform figure of 117p.
Frankel's second crop also includes Qatar Racing Ltd's promising homebred Lightening Quick. The Ger Lyons-trained bay narrowly beat Bye Bye Baby over seven furlongs at Leopardstown on her debut (video below), disappointed when down the field behind Juliet Capulet in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes three weeks later, but made a winning start to the new campaign at Naas on Monday.
She will need to improve on this three-quarter-length and head defeat of four-year-old Xenobia and three-year-old Broadway if she is to fulfil the potential of her entry in the Group 1 Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas, but she is bred to be suited to the step up in trip.
The race she won was the Group 3 Coolmore Mastercraftsman Irish EBF Athasi Stakes over seven furlongs and it catches the eye that her entries also include next month's Group 3 TRM Ballyogan Stakes over six furlongs at the Curragh.
Lightening Quick is a full-sister to the late Timeform 100-rated dual mile winner Lightening Fast and she is the second foal out of Lightening Pearl (by Marju), the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes heroine of 2011.
The mare was unplaced in the Group 1 1000 Guineas on her only attempt at a mile, she was a Group 2-placed winner over seven furlongs, and a five-length winner of the Group 3 Round Tower Stakes over six at the Curragh. Timeform rated her 113, and although it is possible that she did not stay beyond seven, that may not hinder her daughter's prospects of becoming a talented mile or even middle-distance performer.
Lightning Pearl is a full-sister to Jolie Jioconde and Satono Crown. The former was Group 3-placed over seven furlongs, won at up to 10 and a half, and is the dam of Fast Approach (by Dawn Approach) who has been Grade 3-placed over nine furlongs in Japan.
Satono Crown, on the other hand, is rated 127 by Timeform, he has won the Grade 1 Hong Kong Vase over a mile and a half at Sha Tin and the Grade 1 Takarazuka Kinen over 11 furlongs at Hanshin, he was only beaten a neck by Kitasan Black in the 10-furlong Grade 1 Tenno Sho (Autumn) in late October and, earlier in his career, was third to Duramente in the Grade 1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby).
They are out of Jioconda (by Rossini), who won the Listed Silken Glider Stakes as a two-year-old, and their third dam, Lust (by Pursuit Of Love), is an unraced half-sister to Group 1 stars Classic Cliche (by Salse) and My Emma (by Marju).
The former won the Group 1 Gold Cup at Ascot and Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster before becoming a somewhat successful dual-purpose stallion, while Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks and Group 1 Prix Vermeille heroine My Emma is the grandam of Group 1 Gold Cup runner-up and dual Group 3 Sagaro Stakes winner Mizzou (by Galileo).
These are the highlights of the first five generations of the pedigree, and although there is some speed in there, the family's recent tendency has been towards middle-distance and staying talent.
The way Lightening Quick stayed on to win her maiden at two suggested that a mile and/or 10 furlongs would suit her in 2018, which makes her sprint entry interesting. It remains to be seen how good she is – and it was reported that she had not been working well before her Naas victory – but there is no doubt that she is bred to be a good filly, and one who could benefit from a step up in trip.