Frankel: First foal of champion racehorse born in Ireland

By Frank KeoghBBC Sport
Frankel foal: Champion racehorse's first off-spring born

Champion racehorse Frankel's first foal has been born in Ireland.

Mare Chrysanthemum gave birth to the "attractive" bay colt, who has a white blaze on his head like his father, at Coolmore Stud on Saturday.

The stallion, the world's top-rated racehorse who won all 14 of his races, commands a £125,000-a-time stud fee.

"From the reports I've received, his first foal is everything we could have hoped for," said a spokesman for Juddmonte Farms, Frankel's owners.

Frankel mated with 133 mares at Banstead Manor Farm, near Newmarket, between February and June 2013, and has been described as "super fertile" and a "thorough gentleman".

He yielded an estimated £15m from his first season at stud, and could reap a total of more than £100m from his breeding career.

Frankel, trained by Sir Henry Cecil who died in June of last year, is considered by some experts to be the greatest racehorse of all-time. In 14 races, the aggregate distance between him and the second-placed horses was 76.25 lengths (610 feet or 185 metres).

His meeting with Chrysanthemum is thought to have taken place around the time of Valentine's Day, 14 February 2013.

The stud in Tipperary, owned by John Magnier, reported that the foal - born at 20:30 GMT on Saturday - is a handsome bay (reddish brown) colt with "a good head, a white blaze and great presence".

Juddmonte Farms general manager Philip Mitchell said: "These are very exciting times for everyone who has supported the horse and we very much look forward to the rest of his first crop of foals."

Chrysanthemum, now aged six like Frankel, was trained to two Group Three wins by trainer David Wachman during her racing career. A daughter of champion sire Danehill Dancer, she was the first mare scanned in foal to Frankel last year, and this is her first foal.

The arrival came three days before the Irish stud lost its triple Coronation Cup winner St Nicholas Abbey, who died after a serious illness.

Of the 133 mares who visited Frankel, 126 are expecting foals in the first part of the year.

Six of the remaining seven were pregnant before suffering early foetal deaths although a "no-foal, no-fee arrangement" usually applies.

With 11-month pregnancies, the northern hemisphere breeding season starts in February so foals can be born in the early part of the following year, as racehorses officially age a year on 1 January for adminstration purposes.

Horses on the Flat, like Frankel, usually begin their racing careers aged two, so the first of Frankel's offspring are likely to be seen on the track for the first time in the summer of 2016.

Bookmakers were quick to react to the news, with one firm offering odds of 2-1 that the new arrival would win on his racing debut.

The newborn colt is rated a 40-1 chance to emulate his father by winning Newmarket's 2,000 Guineas, and is 66-1 for the 2017 Derby at Epsom.

The few Frankel foals that are sold at public auction will attract competitive bidding.

Last month, Godolphin racing boss Sheikh Mohammed - the ruler of Dubai - paid about £4m for the 2011 Oaks winner Dancing Rain,external-link who is pregnant by Frankel.