The £150m stud: Frankel retires undefeated - now the frolics begin!

He is hailed The Greatest after cruising to his 14th successive win yesterday. Now his owners hope he can emulate the multimillion-pound breeding success of his forefathers

Basking in the glory of an undefeated 14-race career yesterday and winning £3m over the past three seasons, Frankel could be forgiven for wanting to relax. But, in truth, his real money-making exploits are only just beginning.

The four-year-old bay sealed his claim to the title of the world's greatest racehorse in front of the Queen at Ascot, winning the Champion Stakes. Plaudits flooded in, with Frankie Dettori, Britain's best-known jockey, saying: "He's been an amazing story and an amazing horse. He doesn't just win, he destroys the field." Pat Eddery, the former champion jockey who rode Dancing Brave to victory in the Arc de Triomphe in 1986, added: "He's a very exciting horse, he's unbeaten and has won a lot of Group Ones – he has to be there with the very best." Aidan O'Brien, arguably the world's best trainer, was succinct: "One word describes him – incredible. He's the most incredible horse we have ever seen. "

Sir Michael Stoute, the Queen's trainer, paid tribute to Henry Cecil, Frankel's trainer. "Henry and his team have handled [the horse] impeccably," he said. "When he accelerates he destroys the opposition in about 100 yards. He is a magnificent racing machine."

Frankel's owner, Prince Khalid Abdullah of Saudi Arabia can now look forward to a much bigger prize than any race could offer: two decades of the fees his mount could realise at stud, with practically every major horse breeder in the world desperate for a share of his horse's unbeatability,.

Provided his first offspring race well, he could earn more than £150m siring the next generation of thoroughbreds. The star of Prince Khalid's stable is predicted to command stud fees of up to £150,000 – and stallions can cover around 200 mares a season. Lord Grimthorpe, the prince's racing manager, said: "Some of the greatest breeders on earth are queuing up to send their mares."

Frankel is descended from greatness: his ancestors have been crowned leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland – determined by the amount of prize money won by the sire's progeny – in 19 of the last 20 years. His father is the 2001 Epsom Derby winner Galileo, the most influential stallion of his generation. Officially Galileo's stud fees are private, though according to reports the stallion can earn £120,000 per foal – and he produced a record 214 in 2011.

Fees can often decline as the stallions get older, yet the 14-year-old Galileo still dominated the yearling sales two weeks ago at Tattersalls, Europe's biggest bloodstock auction house, in Newmarket. A yearling colt of his was sold for £2.6m to the Qatari royal Sheikh Fahad bin Abdullah Al Thani on the last day of the auction - the most this year and the third-highest price paid for a one-year-old untrained racehorse in Europe. Two fillies sired by Galileo fetched £1.4m and £1.6m respectively.

Frankel's mother, Kind, was a sprinter and five-time listed race winner who has become a successful broodmare. His grandparents include Sadler's Wells, a middle-distance specialist and the world's most dominant sire of the past 25 years, and Urban Sea, who produced another recent great, Sea the Stars. He is also the grandson of Danehill, the most successful sire of all time who was leading sire in Australia, France and Great Britain and Ireland on 15 occasions.

But not all racing greats perform equally well at stud. Aidan O'Brien's 2,000 Guineas winner George Washington was found to have fertility problems and returned to racing, but was later put down on track after injuring himself at the Breeder's Cup Classic in 2007.

"It's a very unforgiving business," said Harry Herbert, the chairman of British Bloodstock Marketing. "If he doesn't come up with some really exciting horses, Frankel's followers will know their fate very quickly."

Due to a changing economy, Frankel may never become the most valuable racehorse in history – his great-grandfather Northern Dancer can lay claim to that. It cost $500,000 (£310,000) to breed with the Canadian colt in the mid-1980s.

John Sparkman, a private bloodstock consultant, said horses in general are not worth as much now as at the turn of the century. "The market nowadays simply won't stand for it," he added, saying the maximum Frankel could command in today's economic climate would be $200,000.

Debate continued to rage yesterday as to whether Frankel, who retires at the top of the World Thoroughbred Rankings, is the greatest ever. Many find it difficult to compare Frankel with Sea Bird and Dancing Brave, who both won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Europe's blue riband event.

Frankel's lack of rivals on the course has also been a cause of muttering among critics – just five horses lined up against him at Ascot yesterday. By comparison, Dancing Brave's 1986 Arc victory at Longchamp saw him beat 14 rivals, including Derby winners from around Europe such as the horse he narrowly lost to at Epsom, Shahrastani, the French colt Bering and the German champion Acatenango, in a record time.

By not retiring him last year, experts predict, Prince Khalid has missed out on £20m in stud fees. It seems entirely likely that, barring catastrophe, Frankel will step up the pace once again to follow in his father's lucrative footsteps.

The greatest on four legs?

Frankel's trainer Henry Cecil was adamant: "He's the best I've ever seen. I'd be surprised if there's ever been any better." Here are some that might measure up:

Shergar "Shergar wins. You need a telescope to see the rest," said the commentator Peter Bromley after the 1981 Epsom Derby.

Sea Bird The French wonder horse won seven of his eight races from 1964-65.

Brigadier Gerard Very popular horse, winning 17 of his 18 races.

Man O'War Voted the greatest American thoroughbred of the 20th century.

Dancing Brave Greville Starkey and Pat Eddery shared his victories.

Mill Reef Won 12 of 14 starts in 1971.

Nijinsky The last horse to win the Triple Crown in the UK, in 1970.

Secretariat His records in the US Triple Crown in 1973 still stand.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor