FRANKEL was undoubtedly the star attraction yesterday in an exclusive private visit organised for Solario Racing owners to Prince Khalid Abdullah’s Banstead Manor Stud.
Solario Racing was delighted to have the opportunity to see at first hand not only Frankel but other leading stallions in the Juddmonte Farms roster including Oasis Dream, still going strong at 19, the new kid on the stallion block, Expert Eye and rising star, Kingman.
The day started with a fabulous lunch at the Bedford Lodge Hotel in Newwmarket and from there we went to the historic Banstead Manor Stud where we were greeted by Juddmonte Farms’ breeding expert, Claire Curry, responsible for nominations and pedigree research.
First to parade was Oasis Dream, who I was particularly keen to see as I had seen him some 16 years ago when a new stallion at Banstead Manor. Pat Eddery Racing had just been formed and Pat was guest editor for Horse and Hound’s stallion edition, 8th January 2004. Claire said that Oasis Dream, former July Cup winner, still loved his job and was still covering 150 mares a year! He looked good on it!
Second out was Kingman, crack miler, four-time Group One winner, Champion 3yo and Horse of the Year. He was the leading second season sire in Europe, currently stands at £75,000 and one can see why!
The latest recruit is youngster, Expert Eye, a high class 2yo who went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Mile. This is his first season as a stallion and he stands at £20,000. It was interesting to see that physically, he still retains the looks of a racehorse as opposed to an out and out stallion.
Last but not least, the greatest horse since the Second World War, unbeaten in 14 starts in four seasons and winner of 10 Group Ones, out strutted Frankel. The most exciting young sire in the world, he reached 30 Group winners in the Northern hemisphere faster than any other stallion in history.
Like all the stallions, he walked out in a very chilled out manner but great racehorses know they’re great and Frankel just exudes quality, physique and charisma. The highlight for Solario Racing was being allowed to have a picture with him. It’s not every day, one has a photo with a stallion whose covering fee is £175,000!
Everyone had a wonderful day out and we were privileged to see the immaculate Banstead Manor, its working stallions including the legendary Frankel. Thank you to Juddmonte Farms for your hospitality and a unique and unforgettable afternoon.