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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Frankel breaks new ground with US winner

Spectacular debutante accelerates from last to first at Belmont

Frankel at Banstead Manor Stud
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Frankel opened a new front in his second career when siring his first American winner at Belmont on Saturday.

The heavily backed debutante Rubilinda, carrying the same Don Alberto colours as her sire's first ever winner Cunco, showed a theatrical turn of foot to cut through from last and win a 6f maiden special weight by over three lengths.

The three-year-old was purchased in utero along with her dam, the Invincible Spirit mare Rubina, for 475,000gns at the Tattersalls December Sale in 2013 - a year after being culled from the Aga Khan Studs at Goffs for €190,000. During her days with John Oxx, Rubina missed a Group 1 podium by a short head in the Moyglare Stud Stakes. Since delivering Rubilinda, she has produced a two-year-old filly by Street Cry and a colt foal by Empire Maker.

Her first foal is trained by Chad Brown, formerly assistant to Bobby Frankel - after whom Khalid Abdullah named his champion. Brown dedicated his recent Preakness Stakes success with Cloud Computing to his mentor.

Brown's barn recently took delivery of Cunco, who got Frankel off the mark as a sire at Newbury last spring and showed that he has trained on when winning the Sandown Classic Trial on his reappearance. But Cunco did not fare quite so well in the Chester Vase and has since left John Gosden to try his luck in the United States.

Whether Frankel can ever extend his influence to dirt racing remains to be seen. His connections resisted calls to test his versatility in the Breeders' Cup Classic and his grandsire Sadler's Wells is historically perceived to have imparted an antipathy to dirt.

El Prado, the principal American son of Sadler's Wells, has admittedly proved largely a turf influence - but did also produce Travers winner Medaglia d'Oro, who can count champion dirt mares Rachel Alexandra and Songbird among his leading progeny.

Frankel's first crop of three-year-olds, already featuring a Japanese Classic winner in Soul Stirring, is set to be represented by two fancied Investec Derby runners on Saturday, Cracksman and Eminent.


Whether Frankel can ever extend his influence to dirt racing remains to be seen
E.W. Terms
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