In 2012, John Gunther was at Royal Ascot on the day that Frankel produced that incredible 147 Timeform rating with an 11-length victory in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes. Two years later he sent his unraced but well-related mare Without You Babe (by Lemon Drop Kid) to visit the champion at Banstead Manor Stud, and four days ago the result of that mating gave his owner-breeder one of his favourite moments in racing.
The colt is Without Parole who extended his unbeaten record to four with a half-length defeat of Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas third Gustav Klimt in the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes, the pair finishing three and a quarter lengths clear of the third, French pattern scorer and Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) fourth Wootton.
Six-length debut winner on the tapeta at Newcastle in mid-December, the March-born bay thrashed Ostilio – Thursday's Britannia Stakes winner – by the same margin at Yarmouth in April, and with a setback making him miss a crack at the Group 1 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, he took a mile listed contest at Sandown in late May instead, beating Gabr by three-parts of a length.
Timeform had him on 117p before his latest success and it will be interesting to see how high he can go in the rankings by the end of the year.
For Gunther, this Group 1 success competed a remarkable international double as he is, of course, also the breeder of undefeated US Triple Crown hero Justify (by Scat Daddy).
When Without You Babe met Frankel it was just a few months after her first foal had taken his record to three wins from five starts for the Saeed bin Suroor Stable. His 2014 campaign was short and disappointing, but a month before his star sibling arrived he notched up a first blacktype success with a four-length score in the Group 3 Firebreak Stakes over a mile on the dirt at Meydan.
He followed-up in the Group 3 Burj Nahaar a few weeks later and made it a hat-trick when short-heading Sloane Avenue in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile, eight days after Without Parole was born. Those wins were for trainer Musabbeh Al Mheiri, but then he crossed the Atlantic to join the Kiaran McLaughlin stable, running seven times and rounding off his career with a three and a half-length defeat of Gun Runner in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita.
That top performer is, of course, Tamarkuz (by Speightstown) and he stands at Shadwell Farm in Kentucky. His first foals arrived this year.
Without You Babe has also produced the multiple US winners Tempietto (by Bernardini) and Always On My Mind (by Congrats), and her two-year-old is a first-crop Kingman (by Invincible Spirit) filly named She's Got You. She had an Oasis Dream (by Green Desert) filly last year and has a Dubawi (by Dubai Millennium) colt at foot.
The mare is out of one-time scorer Marozia (by Storm Bird) and that makes her a half-sister to three Grade 1 performers, most notably Grade 1 Travers Stakes and Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap star Stay Thirsty (by Bernardini). That classic-placed horse has stood six seasons at Ashford Stud in Kentucky and his offspring include Grade 2-winning sprinter Coal Front and Peruvian classic star Golden Leaf.
The other pair are Grade 1-placed stakes winner Superfly (by Fusaichi Pegasus) and his classic-placed, nine-furlong Grade 3-winning full-brother Andromeda's Hero, who has sired stakes winners.
Make Change (by Roberto), the third dam of Without Parole, had a listed race success among five wins from two to four years of age but far more notable is the string of top races in which she was placed: Alabama Stakes, Monmouth Oaks, Coaching Club American Oaks, Acorn Stakes, Ladies Handicap, Ruffian Handicap, and Shuvee Handicap – all Grade 1s.
Time Changes (by Danzig), who won a listed contest in France, was the best of her offspring and produced the Group 1 Gran Premio di Milano runner-up Age Of Reason (by Halling). The next dam is the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks runner-up Equal Change (by Arts And Letters) and her descendants – all remotely connected to Without Parole – include Grade 1 scorers Crisp (by Elusive Quality) and Whywhywhy (by Mr Greeley), Group 1-placed Group 2 Lennox Stakes winner Nayyir (by Indian Ridge), and classic-placed pattern winners Sky Hunter (by Motivator) and Highest (by Selkirk).
It will be fascinating to find out just how good Without Parole is. He holds an entry in the Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes, as you'd expect, and also in both the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse and Group 1 Qipco Irish Champion Stakes. His Grade 1 winning half-brother was never asked to go beyond the mile, but with two Belmont Stakes-placed relations – one of whom was a 10-furlong Grade 1 scorer – there is every reason to believe that the young rising star can handle that trip.
The colt is one of 26 stakes winners from the first two crops by Frankel and he is the fourth of those to win at the highest level, following Cracksman, Japanese juvenile champion and classic heroine Soul Stirring, and recent Grade 1 Yasuda Kinen scorer Mozu Ascot. All together it represents a promising start for the great champion.