EMINENT SET TO LIVE UP TO HIS NAME AT STUD - by John Richardson
When a really great horse goes to stud, he obviously attracts all the best mares around and human nature being what it is, one suspects that not a great deal of thought is given to the bloodlines and potential suitability of the mating. And make no mistake Frankel is arguably the greatest horse to race since WW2, surely in Europe as Timeform (147 TFR) believe and maybe, even in the world.
Dual Arc winner Enable and Eminent have something in common in that they are closely sex balanced inbred to Sadler’s Wells as we shall shortly see.
Eminent, then in the care of Newmarket trainer Martyn Meade is a dark bay with a white blaze and made a successful debut in a Newmarket mile maiden at the end of September, his only juvenile start. Surprisingly it was straight into the deep end on his re-appearance in April over the same course and distance of the G3 Newmarket Craven Stakes, a well-proven Guineas trial. He settled in the stands side group in midfield, gradually improving to contend coming out of The Dip and after a tight struggle with Rivet came away for a 1 ½ length victory with Benbatl third.
His time of 1 35.15 was the fastest for this race in 40 years. This strong performance earned him a tilt at the G1 Two Thousand Guineas again over the same course and distance but this time against the then unbeaten O’Brien hotpot Churchill. As they came into the final furlong he looked to have every chance, but finished just out of the major money.
It was a big ask for the relatively inexperienced colt to go straight into the G1 Derby a month later, a very different track and distance half as long again at 1 ½ m. He settled back of midfield and was in tightish quarters at times as they came down Tattenham Hill to the famed Corner. Once in the straight he was able to begin his run but seldom found really clear air, although he got to third half a furlong out before Wings of Eagles lived up to his name with a pulverising late swoop to win. Eminent was beaten barely 1 ½ lengths into fourth despite his jockey loosing his whip a furlong out, following Cliffs of Moher and fellow Frankel son the future world champion Cracksman, and was extremely unlucky not have collected at least some of the major money.
Ryan Moore took over on the colt for the 2000 m. G2 Prix Guillaume de’Ornano at Deauville and for the first time new tactics were tried. He bounded out of the stalls, leaving hot favourite the dual French classic winner Brametot flat footed, and he soon set up a decisive lead with the field strung out behind. Brametot made some late ground but the rest of the field were gone half way up the straight and the blue and white colours sauntered to the line a generous three lengths to the good and Avilius well back in third. All Eminent’s previous races had been on going on the firm side of good and Deauville was the first time he had raced on a good surface.
His final start at 3YO was the highly competitive G1 Irish Champion Stakes where he was opposed by Churchill, Taj Mahal, Cliffs of Moher and The Grey Gatsby. Sent along at a good clip by Frankie Dettori, he was still in front inside the last 50 only to be swamped by the late charge of Decorated Knight and Poet’s Word out on the better going. He missed the Arc for which he had been fourth favourite behind Enable. He was allotted a good World Rating of 117.
In 2018 he had just 4 starts, all in Group 1, 2 or 3 races but was clearly not the horse he had been at 3 maybe because he had a very hard race in Ireland. Best effort was at Royal Ascot in the G1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes where he led for much of the race before being collared by Poet’s Word, Cracksman and Hawkbill. This year we have seen him trained by Sir Mark Todd in Australia where first up he divided Avilius and Danzdanzdance in the G1 ATC Ranvet Stakes.
His sire Frankel was unbeaten in 14 races (10 x G1), twice rated World Champion with a 140 rating and TFR of 147 – the highest ever. His stallion career has excited enormous interest worldwide and Eminent is from his first crop. He now has 43 stakes winners (7 x G1) from his first three crops inc. World Champion Cracksman, Japanese 2YO & 3YO Champion Filly Soul Stirring and most recently the Oaks victress Anapurna, the classic being a Frankel quinella.
The damsire is the Royal Ascot St. James’s Palace S. winner Kingmambo, sire of 85 SWs (24 x G1) inc. Lemon Drop Kid, King’s Best King Kamehameha and Dubai Destination, while his daughters have 138 SWs (18 x G1) inc. Midday (6 G1s), Duke of Marmalade, Ulysses, Best Solution and dual Derby winner Camelot.
The grandam sire is none other than Sadler’s Wells, whose massive total of 294 SWs is surpassed only by Danehill’s 347 SWs and his own son Galileo. His produce includes such stars as Galileo, Yeats, Montjeu, High Chaparral, Salsabil, Beat Hollow, In The Wings, Carnegie, Barathea and many more. He has been Champion British/Irish Sire 14 times, and French 3 times, whilst as a damsire he has topped the list seven times and twice in France. He is followed along the damline sires by his nickmate Darshaan (French Derby) the Champion French Sire and dual Broodmare Sire, then comes Crystal Palace - another French Derby victor, Zeddaan (French 2000 Guineas) and the Arc and Coronation Cup winner Nuccio.
This is the superb 9 family of the flying Mumtaz Mahal and the seventh dam is own sister to Arc winner Migoli. This is, of course, very much an Aga Khan line, but His Highness sold Alruccaba the fourth dam back in the mid-80s. The family is full of class and stamina – a perfect combination for sire success.
As we follow the fortunes of the family back we see a very clear affinity with both Sadler’s Wells and Danehill. The dam of Eminent is You’ll Be Mine, who was a G1 placed juvenile winner and second in the G1 Ascot Mile. So far she has two winners from 3 named foals. She is half sister to the Fastnet Rock filly Diamondsandrubies (G1 Curragh Pretty Polly S., Cheshire Oaks) and to two stakes placegetters.
Their dam is Quarter Moon (Sadler’s Wells) the Champion Irish 2YO Filly, who won the G1 Curragh Moyglare Stud S.; 2nd Oaks, Irish Oaks, Irish 1000 Guineas; 3rd Goodwood Nassau S., all G1. She was full sister to Yesterday the second top Irish Filly at 2 and 3YO, who won the Irish 1000 Guineas; 2nd Oaks, Prix Vermeille, Prix de l’Opera; 3rd Breeders Cup Turf (f&m). Other full siblings were Oaks and Irish Oaks placegetter All My Loving (dam of the Dansili horse Thomas Chippendale won Royal Ascot Hardwicke S., King Edward VII S. both G2), G2 placed Hold Me Love Me (dam of Renew, by Dansili, won MRC Sandown Cup) and SP Magicalmysterytour plus GP Galileo mare Betterbetterbetter. A total of 69 SWs mostly of high calibre descend from sixth dam Nucciolina, of which Nassipour is one.
So why do I believe this pedigree is so special?
In short it is because it comprises an extremely intricate blend of all the major nicks that these days seem to be almost essential to the modern classic Thoroughbred. I only hope I am able to do its description justice in print and suggest a printout of a 7 generation chart will assist clarity.
First of all Eminent is sex balanced inbred to Sadler’s Wells 3 x 3 (plus ¾ brother Nureyev) and Raise A Native 6/7 x 4 and male balanced inbred to his sire Northern Dancer 4/5 x 5/4 and Mr. Prospector 5 x 3 - a near unique piece of intense inbreeding seldom seen. And it doesn’t end there. Frankel, the ultimate product of the famed Galileo nick with Danehill, gives the vital female balance to the male Northern Dancer lines. Galileo is a Northern Dancer – Hail To Reason/Mr. Prospector cross and Frankel’s dam Kind is Northern Dancer – His Majesty (Ribot)/Blushing Groom-Raise A Native. Other balance is to the mares Special (5 x 5/5) and Natalma (5/6/6 x 6/5), also Native Dancer (8 lines), Hyperion (13), and nickmates Nasrullah (11) and Princequillo (4).
The distaff side is a total complement to the above with damsire Kingmambo being a Mr. Prospector / Nureyev (Northern Dancer) – Graustark (brother to His Majesty). The bottom quarter is the classic staying combination of Sadler’s Wells / Darshaan (Shirley Heights) on top of the classiest bottom line in the book.
So what mares will suit the new horse?
The answer simply put is that he will prove easy to mate well and mares carrying Zabeel and Encosta de Lago are well worth a glance, as are Nureyev males Spinning World and Stravinsky, while High Chaparral is by Sadler’s Wells the same cross as Eminent’s third dam. Looking at potential broodmare sires of young mares likely to be around I singled out some very good matings for a wide variety of reasons.
In no particular order they are Alamosa, Bachelor Duke, Bullbars, Captain Rio, Chinese Dragon, Iffraaj, Jimmy Choux, Makfi, Mastercraftsman and No Excuse Needed (both very good), O’Reilly, Pour Moi, Redwood, Road to Rock, Showcasing, Thewayyouare and Zacinto, also the stud’s Dalghar, Patapan and Perfectly Ready mares deserve a chance. Breeders should not forget the bottom quarter of a mating not just the bottom line as it is most important and can sometimes make a whole lot of difference.
I was amazed to learn that this horse, who is the first by the great horse to stand in Australasia, and one of his best sons, is to stand at just NZ$8,000 which must represent the best value around. In what promises to be a very competitive year for new sires, I will be surprised if his classic horses fail to make their mark.