Frankel fillies set to face off in Japanese 1,000 Guineas
Soul Stirring and Mi Suerte have big chances at Hanshin
Frankel has a fair chance of siring a first Classic winner on Sunday as two of his high-class daughters are set to line up for the Oka Sho, Japan's equivalent of the 1,000 Guineas, at Hanshin on Sunday (3.40pm local time, 7.40am BST).
Soul Stirring, who became the debut top-level winner for Frankel in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies over the same course and distance in December, is set to start a short-priced favourite for the contest.
The filly, trained by Kazuo Fujisawa for Shadai Race Horse Co Ltd, won her prep for the Oka Sho, the Grade 3 Tulip Sho at Hashin, by two lengths under Christophe Lemaire last time and the French jockey is set to partner her again.
Soul Stirring is the second foal bred by Shadai Farm out of the brilliant Monsun mare Stacelita, winner of six races at the highest level including the Prix de Diane and Beverly D Stakes. Her half-sister Southern Stars, a daughter of Smart Strike, won a Sandown maiden for John Gosden last year.
One of Soul Stirring's biggest threats could come from Mi Suerte, another daughter of Frankel who won the Grade 3 Kyoto Sho Fantasy Stakes before finishing fourth behind colts in the Grade 1 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes at Hanshin last year.
Trained by Yasutoshi Ikee for Sunday Racing Co Ltd, she is out of Mi Sueno, a daughter of Pulpit who took the scalp of Blind Luck when she landed the Grade 1 Debutante Stakes at Del Mar at two.
Katsumi Yoshida paid $1.9 million to secure Mi Sueno when she was carrying Mi Suerte at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale in 2013.
The main opposition to the Frankel fillies in the Oka Sho appears to be Admire Miyabi, a daughter of Heart's Cry from the close family of champion Japanese racehorse and sire Deep Impact who won the Grade 3 Daily Hai Queen Cup at Tokyo in February.
Dual world champion Frankel, who stands at Banstead Manor Stud at a fee of £125,000, has sired a flurry of three-year-old maiden winners in Europe from his first crop in recent weeks.
Dream Castle, a colt out of Flying Childers Stakes winner Sand Vixen, trotted up by three and a half lengths on his debut over 7f at Doncaster, while Count Octave, a three-parts brother to Irish Derby winner Treasure Beach, landed a 1m4f Wolverhampton maiden on his second start by three lengths.
Fashion Business, Lady Frankel, Musikel and Weekender have all also shed their maiden tags since the turn of the year.