Inspiral © Mark Post Photos

Seven Days: Bringing out the big guns

Frankel runners making the headlines this week

By Emma Berry, Taken from Thoroughbred Daily News, 26th April 2022

A few weeks ago the bookmaker Fitzdares made Dubawi (Ire) favourite to be champion sire this year for the first time, and perhaps no horse deserves it more than Darley's utterly
dependable 20-year-old. However, the race to the top will not be easy, particularly judging by the apparent strength in depth of the challenge of Frankel's offspring for this year's major races.

Though the reigning champion, as well as the Gosden stable and owner-breeder Cheveley Park Stud, were dealt a blow by the withdrawal of Inspiral (GB) from Sunday's QIPCO 1000 Guineas, the season is but young. The Gr.1 Coronation S. at Royal Ascot now seems to be the favoured target for Inspiral's reappearance, and naturally she also holds entries for the Irish 1000 Guineas and the Oaks. In the meantime, Frankel has not been short of promising 3-year-olds to represent him in the past week, with a number of them signalling the blossoming of the Gosden yard, which had been a little slower to spring to life this season compared to last.

The six winners from Clarehaven Stables over the last seven days included a Saturday double from Nashwa (GB) and Magisterial (GB), both by Frankel and both with Epsom on their agenda. Nashwa represents the 'Cracksman cross' of Frankel on Pivotal (GB), the filly's dam, Princess Loulou (Ire) having been bought as a yearling from breeder David Brown of Furnace Mill Stud for 310,000gns. Having raced for the partnership of Imad Al Sagar and Saleh Al Homaizi, finishing runner-up in the G1 Prix Jean Romanet and then landing the Listed Gillies Fillies' S. on her final start, Princess Loulou is now wholly owned by Al Sagar. The Kuwaiti owner-breeder has continued to be a significant solo presence among the British ranks and earlier this year bolstered his team at Blue Diamond Stud with the appointments of Teddy Grimthorpe and Ted Voute. Nashwa's odds quartered for the Oaks following her facile win on Saturday, and she would be fully deserving of a place at Epsom in a bid to give her owner his chance of celebrating a third Classic success following Authorized (Ire) in the Derby and Araafa (Ire) in the Irish 2000 Guineas.

Owner breeder Bjorn Nielsen has made no secret of how he yearns to win the Derby, and he has a potential candidate this year in Magisterial, the Frankel colt out of Hoity Toity (GB) (Darshaan {GB}). Epsom omens can be found not too far away in his pedigree as Magisterial's half-sister Lillie Langtry (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}) is the dam of the 2016 Oaks heroine Minding (Ire), by Frankel's sire Galileo (Ire), and indeed that mighty racemare's full-sister Tuesday (Ire) is currently favourite for this year's Oaks following her maiden win at Naas in March.

Frankel Abounds

Godolphin weren't exactly short of Derby entries, with 13 remaining in the list, but that number was boosted by one last Tuesday when a rare well-bred colt without an entry, Nahanni (GB) - yep, you've guessed it, another son of Frankel landed the 'win and you're in' Listed Cazoo Blue Riband Trial at Epsom. Out of a Street Cry (Ire) half-sister to Godolphin's St Leger winner Mastery (GB) (Sulamani {Ire}), Nahanni is already a winner over the Derby distance, but at least four of his Charlie Appleby stable-mates remain ahead of him in the betting.

Friday's Gr.3 Classic Trial at Sandown went the way of yet another Frankel, the Juddmonte homebred Westover (GB), who narrowly came out on top after a tussle with Cash (Ire) (Shamardal). Trained by Ralph Beckett, Westover is a full-brother to Monarchs Glen (GB), one of Frankel's earliest stakes winners. Their dam Mirabilis (Lear Fan) - a Grade III winner in 2006 for the man whom Frankel was named - is a half-sister to the Gr.1 Prix de Diane winner Nebraska Tornado (Storm Cat). It was disappointing to see only three runners for the Gr.3 Gordon Richards S. on Sandown's Friday card and, with two of those being by Frankel, it was no surprise to see him with yet another back-type victor to his credit. This time it was his 4-year-old son Mostahdaf (GB), owned and bred by Shadwell, and it was another good result for the resurgent Gosden stable, which was also previously home to Mostahdaf's dual Group 1-winning half-sister Nazeef (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}).

Mountain High

Among a potentially strong team of older horses for Frankel this season is Kirsten Rausing's treble Group 1 winner Alpinista (GB), who looks set to return in the Gr.1 Coronation Cup, in which she could face last year's Derby winner Adayar (Ire), who shares her sire.

Alpinista was the first foal of her dam Alwilda (GB), a Listed-winning daughter of the late Lanwades sire Hernando (Fr) and Albanova (GB) (Alzao), who, like her grand-daughter, also won three Group 1 races in Germany. Alwilda's second foal, a 3-year-old filly named Alpenblume (GB) (Kendargent {Fr}), has been entrusted by her breeder to second-season Chantilly trainer and old family friend Tim Donworth, who on Sunday sent the filly out to win on debut at Le Pin au Haras. Interestingly, Scandinavian legend cites Alwilda as a princess-turned-pirate, and she was the inspiration for the tragic poem Il Re Torrismondo, by Torquato Tasso. Food for thought for future mating plans when last year's Arc winner retires to stud.