Frankel makes a mark on dirt - but he’s still trailing his little brother

A first for Frankel: Mozu Ascot (Christophe Lemaire) winning the G3 Negishi Stakes on dirt at Tokyo. Photo: Japan Racing Association

Frankel’s status as one of the world’s great stallions is now way beyond doubt. With the first representatives of his fifth crop due to appear on the racetrack later this year, the current world #6 is already responsible for the winners of more than 50 Group/Graded races, including ten who have mopped up 15 G1s between them.

Until last Sunday, however, all of those victories were on turf. Mozu Ascot’s win in Tokyo’s G3 Negishi Stakes opened a new door for the Juddmonte great - the 6-year-old, already a G1 scorer on turf, was his first Group/Graded winner on dirt.

Even though it was just a G3, the Negishi triumph goes down as one of the most valuable by any of Frankel’s progeny - the winning purse was around US$345,000, which is typical of the money on offer at that level in Japan.

It also enabled the stallion to surge 55 places up the TRC Global Dirt Sires’ Rankings to #57. That, mind you, is still some way below his year-younger brother, Noble Mission, who sits at #35, courtesy of the 2019 exploits of Travers hero Code Of Honor.

It makes the pair 1-2 in the dirt standings among sons of Galileo, whose offspring have famously failed to shine on the surface. Indeed, the brothers are the only representatives of the breed-shaping giant in the dirt top 100.

Yet their headline dirt runners surely illustrate that a top sire can come up with the goods on any surface when teamed with the right mare. Mozu Ascot is out of the classy India, a daughter of Hennessy, who landed two Graded victories on dirt for trainer Todd Pletcher in 2006-07. Code Of Honor is from the Dixie Union mare Reunited, who won a Keeneland G3 over six furlongs on dirt in 2005.

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