Back in January 2014, I wrote about Frankel’s first foal who was subsequently named Cunco (a town in Chile). As a yearling he was led out of the ring at Tattersalls in October as unsold at 280,000 guineas . He made history today by becoming the first runner for Frankel in a six furlong maiden at Newbury. Fans of Frankel will be encouraged by Cunco’s debut performance in which despite greenness he showed a nice turn of foot to win snugly and afterwards he received some favourable comments from his jockey Robert Havlin and his trainer John Gosden. He should improve significantly for the run and I thought in light of his performance it was interesting to re-read my original article in which I wondered about the possible effects of so much inbreeding. No need to worry it seems !
The original article is shown below
Can you have too much of a good thing?
Frankel’s first foal was born on the 11th of January. The dam Chrysanthemum was a Group 3 winner trained by David Wachman for Coolmore connections. In truth, in terms of racing performance and pedigree Chrysanthemum was no more than a middle ranking member of Frankel’s stellar first book of mares.
However what is far more interesting is the pedigree cross it represents. We are by now, well used to seeing variants of the Sadler’s Wells (and sons) by Danehill cross , the cross that reached its pinnacle with Frankel himself. It has proved hugely successful with Galileo alone having sired 8 Group 1 winners out of Danehill mares. Chrysanthemum is by Danehill Dancer out of a daughter of Sadler’s Wells and it begs the question can you have too much of a good thing?
Sadler’s Wells and Danehill are the giant names of European breeding in recent decades. Coolmore achieved considerable success with the likes of Horatio Nelson (Danehill ex Imagine), Peeping Fawn (Danehill ex Maryinsky and Chevalier (Danehill ex Legend Maker) bred on this cross. Given the number of high class broodmares they possess with both names in the pedigree it is perhaps unsurprising that they are considering doubling up what has worked in the past.
They would have been encourage by the results to date for Teofilo (Galileo ex Speirbhean by Danehill) who is similarly bred to Frankel. Teofilo has made a good start to his stud career highlighted by Group 1 success for Parish Hall (ex Halla Siamsa by Montjeu) and Irish Derby success with Trading Leather who is out of a Sinndar mare and thus has another cross of Danzig as does Voleuse Des Coeurs (ex Vadorga by Grand Lodge). This new foal is just gone a little further in terms of duplication.
This foal will have Sadler’s Wells 3X3, and Danehill 3X3. In the first 6 generations Northern Dancer’s name appears 5 times and he appears once more in the 7th generation. Given that Danehill features 2 crosses of Northern Dancer’s dam Natalma, her name appears 8 times in the pedigree! If this was a human we would be appalled, even if it was a pedigree dog we would be concerned yet when it comes to our friends the thoroughbreds we just think it’s interesting! As regards the question, whether you can have too much of a good thing, we will obviously just have to wait until he finishes his racecourse career to answer that one…