Eminent winning the Gr.2 Prix Guillaume d'Ornano (2000m) at Deauville under Ryan Moore
In a coup for the King family’s Brighthill Farm, Group One performed son of Frankel, Eminent, will retire to their Tauwhare property for the forthcoming breeding season, where he will stand for a fee of $8,000+GST.
Eminent becomes the first son of the all-conquering Frankel to retire to stud in the southern hemisphere.
Raced by Sir Peter Vela, in conjunction with Hubie De Burgh, Eminent won three of his 14 career starts, prepared predominantly by Martyn Meade before transferring to the care of Olympic Eventer Sir Mark Todd for an Australian campaign earlier this year.
A Newmarket winner at his only start at two, Eminent resumed at three with victory in the Gr.3 Craven Stakes (1600m), a race in which Benbatl finished third.
He finished fourth in the Gr.1 English Derby (2400m) won by Wings Of Eagles, and Cracksman in third, and stamped himself as one of the best three-year-olds of his year when successful in the Gr.2 Prix Guillaume d’Ornano (2000m) at Deauville.
He signed off from his classic season with a game third in the Gr.1 Irish Champion Stakes (2000m) behind quality older gallopers Decorated Knight and Poet’s Word.
Although his four-year-old season did not go to plan, Eminent resumed from a seven month hiatus from the race track to show his class when runner-up to Avilius in the Gr.1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill.
“We’re obviously very excited to have the first son of Frankel to stand at stud in the Southern Hemisphere,” Brighthill Farm principal Nick King said.
“It’s an amazing opportunity. We were approached by his owner Sir Peter Vela, who had weighed-up a possible autumn campaign with the horse in Europe, but he decided that that would push him another year before he could come to stud.
“We’re now in the process of syndicating him and have enjoyed a great response.
“It has literally only been a handful of days since this has come about and to have the likes of Cambridge Stud, Windsor Park, Valachi Downs, Haunui Farm, Hallmark Stud and Curraghmore on board already, just shows you the regard in which the horse is held and what an attractive prospect he is.
“With Sir Peter Vela also staying in the horse and pledging to send some quality mares from his Pencarrow Stud, and obviously we’re taking a shareholding and will be supporting the horse, Eminent is going to get every opportunity at stud.”
King believes Eminent is very reasonably priced at $8,000+GST and was conscious of the later announcement of his retirement, with a limited number of shares selling for $30,000 via Brighthill Farm or New Zealand Bloodstock.
“We wanted to make him affordable and at $8,000 he represents great value,” King said.
“There is a lot of quality through his pedigree, race record and physical type.
“When you look at the quality of the races that he ran in and the quality of the horse himself, he certainly gets you excited.”
The Frankel factor will no doubt be one of the most compelling reasons breeders look to Eminent.
A once in a generation racehorse, Frankel has made an exceptional start to his stud career and is the sire of 17.3 percent stakes-winners to runners, seven at Group One level headed by star galloper Cracksman.
He is the sire of 31 Group winners, and surpassed the 30-mark faster than any other stallion in history.
“For many people he is the best horse they have seen in their lifetime and he is doing an amazing job at stud too,” King said.
“He leaves beautiful looking horses and I think when people see Eminent they are really going to be impressed.”
King said Eminent was born to be a stallion given the impressive bloodlines on both sides of his pedigree.
Eminent’s dam is the Gr.1 Ascot Fillies' Mile (1600m) placegetter You’ll Be Mine, a Kingmambo daughter of Group One winner Quarter Moon, also the dam of Group One winner Diamondsandrubies.
“Obviously with Frankel you are miles ahead, but to see the first three dams are by Kingmambo, Sadler’s Wells and Darshaan, they are three of the best broodmare sires in the world,” King said.
“It’s a very strong female family and the race records are so strong within those bloodlines.”
King highlighted Eminent’s ability to come to hand as an early three-year-old and the fact he had performed successfully in New Zealand’s major export market, Australia, as significant positives for breeders.
“With his international pedigree and performance and the fact he boasts a Group One placing in Australia, there is little doubt Australian buyers will have no trouble buying progeny by this sire. We feel he is the perfect fit for New Zealand.”