Frankel fever hits with four set for Cape Premier Sale
Juddmonte champion also set to have his first runner in the country
Frankel Fever is due to engulf South Africa this weekend when four yearlings by Juddmonte’s champion are set to be sold at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale at the same time his first South African-bred runner is poised to make her debut.
The yearlings, three fillies and a colt, are products of a bold arrangement between Cape Thoroughbred Sales (CTS) and Klawervlei Stud, which acquired a total of 65 mares in three groups from Coolmore and imported them to South Africa in order to sell their offspring, as well as the mares, to boost the South African breeding industry.
Meanwhile, Miss Frankel, a white-splashed two-year-old chestnut filly by Frankel out of 2010-11 South African champion sprinter Val De Ra, has been entered in a 5f dash at Kenilworth on Saturday and hopes are high she will run to her pedigree as she takes on 11 rivals in the maiden race.
“From the very beginning, she has never taken a step wrong,” trainer Dennis Drier said recently after watching Miss Frankel gallop down the tree-lined track at the Philippi Training Centre in Cape Town under jockey Sean Veale.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve sat on anything that feels like her. She is very exciting,” Veale said.
Bred and owned by the Taberer family’s Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm, Miss Frankel has been a South African celebrity since the day she was born in October 2014 due to her genes and her distinctive markings, and she has her own Facebook page so fans can follow her progress.
“It’s a dream. Let’s hope it comes off well,” Avontuur general manager Pippa Mickleburgh said in looking toward Miss Frankel’s debut.
Adrian Todd, CTS managing director, is also hoping for success for the yearling offspring of Frankel entered in the sale, which will take place on Saturday and Sunday at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. All four are out of European-bred mares from the Coolmore arsenal acquired under the import initiative that Todd said was the first of its kind in South Africa other than purchases by individual farms.
“We think it’s something that will benefit the country as a whole,” Todd said of the mare imports. “Since we can’t shuttle stallions here, this is a way to get new international bloodlines into South Africa.”
Shuttling northern hemisphere-based stallions to South Africa is virtually impossible due to rigid international quarantine protocols designed to prevent the spread of African Horse Sickness.
The lone Frankel colt in the CTS sale, consigned by Klawervlei as lot 64, is the first foal of Irish stakes-placed Fly To The Moon, by Holy Roman Emperor. The bay colt’s granddam, Royal Ballerina, was a Group 2 winner and placed in both the Oaks and the Irish Oaks, and his family also includes Group 1 winner Shamshir and Canadian champion Forte Dei Marmi.
The first Frankel in the catalogue is lot 27, a filly who is the first foal of the unraced Fastnet Rock mare Daffodil, a daughter of Yorkshire Oaks-placed Roman Empress, by Sadler’s Wells.
A filly out of Little Fastnet, by Fastnet Rock and a half-sister to Group 2 winner Requinto, is catalogued as lot 114. Her second dam is British and Irish champion Damson.
The final Frankel filly, who is catalogued as lot 198 and is the only one in the sale’s concluding session, is the first foal out of the winning Invincible Spirit mare Supposing, who is from the family of Canadian Horse of the Year Arravale.
John Koster, Klawervlei co-owner and manager, said the first group of mares acquired from Coolmore also included 17 in foal to Rock Of Gibraltar, who has sired South African Group 1 winners Alboran Sea, champion three-year-old filly in 2014-15, and Europa Point.
Seven colts and three fillies by Rock Of Gibraltar are included in the Cape Premier yearling sale catalogue, including lot 43, a colt out of the unraced Proclamation mare Elisium, a half-sister to the dam of champion Lillie Langtry, the dam of Cartier horse of the year Minding. Another Rock Of Gibraltar colt, lot 123, is out of a sister to champion stayer Yeats.
“Without question, these bloodlines will help boost the sale,” said Koster, who described the four Frankel yearlings as a “fantastic bunch".
“People are coming to South Africa who have never been here before,” he said, adding that buyers drawn in part by the lure of the Frankel yearlings are expected to represent France, Ireland, the US, Britain, Hong Kong, Australia and China.
Some of the dams of the yearlings acquired from Coolmore have already been sold at CTS’s 2016 Mare and Fillies for Stud Select Sale.
Little Fastnet, in foal to Silvano, was sold for R1.6 million (£97,000/€110,000) to agent Mick Flanagan, who at times has helped buy horses for China Horse Club, and he also was listed as the buyer of Daffodil, who had been bred to Captain Al, for R400,000 (£24,000/€28,000).
Fly To The Moon, covered by Dynasty, was sold for R500,000 (£30,000/€34,000) to Drakenstein Stud, while Supposing, mated to Captain Al, was sold for R1m (£61,000/€69,000), to Form Bloodstock.
Other mares once owned by Coolmore and sold at that CTS sale included four by Galileo, topped by Cantabella, an unraced sister to stakes winner Pretty Perfect out of of Holy Roman Emperor’s Group-winning sister Milanova. Lammerskraal Stud bought Cantabella, in foal to Captain Al, for R3.1 million (£188,000/€214,000).