Frankel may have run his last race almost a year ago but there have been few days since then when his name hasn’t been mentioned. Joyeuse is now a stakes winner in her own right – and the fourth to earn black type from only five runners for Kind – but she will always be Frankel’s little sister.
We have a two-year wait for his yearlings to appear at the sales but, as has already been alluded to by Castlebridge’s Bill Dwan, the ‘Frankel factor’ will kick in as soon as the forthcoming Goffs November Sale, where the unraced but regally-bred Song will be among a clutch of mares who will be offered in foal to the unbeaten Juddmonte star.
Song, a sister of Yesterday and Quarter Moon, forms part of the dispersal by Paulyn Ltd, which is arguably the highlight of this year’s sales calendar. The announcement that Paul Makin was to dispense with his only relatively recently assembled band of European racehorses and broodmares, including the Group 1 sprinter Fleeting Spirit, who will be offered in foal to Galileo along with her first two daughters by the champion sire, caught many by surprise. It certainly adds an extra dimension to a season which has not been short on excitement since the bloodstock wagons circled around Deauville in August and the trading started in earnest.
It’s easy to believe that a few too many glasses of rosé in the Normandy sunshine could lead to some bold bidding come the evening sales-time. Doncaster’s Premier Sale is more one for the realists, but pockets needed to be deeper than ever this year during two very strong sessions. It also benefited by being bathed in sunshine, a welcome relief after last year’s drenching, and good news for the ice-cream man, whose profits could probably cover several yearlings after two days parked ring-side.
Last year, the Paul Makin-bred Hydrogen was the world’s most expensive yearling, eliciting a 2.5 million-guinea bid from the man whose growing bloodstock empire is detailed earlier in this magazine. Doubtless Sheikh Fahad won’t be the only one inspecting Hydrogen’s brother, who is being prepared by The Castlebridge Consignment for Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Sale, while other members of the colt’s close family – namely his dam Funsie, three-year-old half-brother Achtung, and weanling sister – will be going under the hammer at Goffs along with the other Paulyn horses.
Makin his presence felt
It is to be hoped that this is not the last we see of their likeable Australian owner around the sales rings of Europe. At Tattersalls, where many of his big purchases were made, Makin would routinely stand to the left of the rostrum with only the press bench between himself and the auctioneer. Despite the presence of his bloodstock agent Grant Pritchard-Gordon, he loved to throw in wild bids of his own, an approach more commonly seen in his native country where one flamboyant offer can silence a rival and makes for a show-stopping alternative to the tense, slow-crawling duels. Makin loves the drama of horse-trading, whichever side of the deal he’s on, as is evident from his comment in the Goffs press release: “We will make money and it should be good fun!”.
Just two years ago in Deauville, Pritchard-Gordon went to €600,000 to secure an attractive Montjeu filly on Makin’s behalf. Displaying some of the quirky tendencies often associated with her sire, she also inherited his brilliance and, named Chicquita in honour of one of the great daughters of the Australian turf, she went on to win this year’s Irish Oaks. Some owner/breeders will baulk at the idea of selling an Oaks winner when she could potentially become the cornerstone of a breeding empire, but commercial considerations cannot be overlooked, whatever the scale of the operation. And, after all, one breeder’s loss is so often another’s gain.
Chicquita is not the only Oaks winner coming on the market this year. Dancing Rain, the Epsom heroine of 2011, will be sold at Tattersalls in December. In addition to her appealing pedigree and race record she is another to boast the ‘Frankel factor’. It’s unclear as yet exactly how many mares will be sold this year carrying to the world champion racehorse but their presence will add a welcome pick-me-up to the tail-end of a long sales season.
Of more immediate importance, October kicks off with the Goffs Orby Sale, its executive team looking to build on the success of last year’s streamlined auction and buoyed by three Classic winners this season from its 2011 sale. With a potentially mouth-watering Arc line-up as a freshener between sales, the action then rolls on to Park Paddocks for a near-fortnight’s worth of October yearlings, which include half-siblings to this season’s Group 1 winners Toronado, The Fugue and Jwala.
We’ll be bringing you a detailed overview of events in and out of the ring in the months to come. Hold on to your hats.