As milestones go, the fastest-ever 100 Stakes winners sired by a European-based stallion is a pretty significant one. When Frankel’s three-year-old daughter Emotion won the Listed Chalice Stakes at Newmarket recently, it continued her sire’s relentless aptitude for siring Stakes winners. The Juddmonte star has reached 100 faster that any that has gone before, which is a significant achievement considering the exploits of his sire Galileo and grandsire Sadler’s Wells, not to mention those of Dubawi and Sea The Stars, both of whom can also be classed as once-in-a-lifetime stallions. 

Surely, all Frankel needs to do now is to stay at the crease for as long as possible and many more outright records should come his way, particularly those that relate to British-based sires. And that is his challenge; to stay healthy for long enough to overhaul Dubawi’s tally of Stakes winners, currently 236 and still growing at an impressive rate, to become the most successful sire of Stakes winners ever to stand in Britain. 

Of course, Frankel’s 100 is from all his stock, including those foaled in the southern hemisphere. At present, he is on 92 Stakes winners from his northern hemisphere foals, which represents an imperious strike rate of 16.4%. Even more impressive is his 62 Group winners at a rate of 6.4% from runners. Now in his seventh year and with many more opportunities to add to his 92, he’s already 12 clear of where Dubawi – the previous best pace-setter – was at the end of his own seventh year. But Dubawi – seven years further down the road than Frankel – isn’t going anywhere soon as his own 16.3% Stakes winner to runners score would suggest. We can rest assured that Dubawi – should his career come to an end before Frankel’s – will leave his rival a pretty hefty number to chase down.

Dubawi isn’t going anywhere soon as his own 16.3% Stakes winner to runners score would suggest

That said, there are few things that Frankel has in his armoury that perhaps Dubawi doesn’t which gives him a distinct advantage over his Newmarket rival. One is the fact that the stamina index for his stock aged three and over is 10.6 furlongs compared to Dubawi’s 9.5. It may only be a little over a furlong in actual terms but it carries with it a far greater significance, particularly when it comes to each sire’s three-year-olds. It is no accident that Frankel has two St Leger winners, a winner of the Derby and two of its Curragh equivalent, plus an Oaks winner. These types of races have been typically beyond the scope of the average Dubawi. Moreover, we know that black-type rewards for horses with innate stamina are far greater than those at the speed end of the spectrum, so a stamina sire as dominant as Frankel – and let’s face it, there are only ever two or perhaps three at any one time – have a hard-wired advantage over all other stallions.

Another telling fact is that Dubawi, at his more advanced age, will probably not cover the same numbers of mares as his younger foe. Even allowing for the fact that both have currently similar strike rates, the younger Frankel’s ability to handle more mares from this point onwards could be telling in the end.

Such has been the prodigious productivity from Frankel’s 2018 and 2019 crops, there will be absolutely no need to worry about the quality of his future books of mares. And quality of mare is still important to not just Frankel but the vast majority of stallions. Just look at his early crops Stakes winner counts. His 23, 16, 9, and 9 scores perfectly illustrate the importance of high-end mares, the type that drifted away in years three and four. On the back of his spectacular first crop, the Banstead Manor Stud stallion was given enough ammunition to sire 17 Stakes winners from his current four-year-olds and 18 from his current Classic generation, and it’s very likely that his current Classic crop could eventually outstrip his brilliant first crop.

Nashwa: one of seven Group 1 winners for Frankel this year. Photo – Bill Selwyn