05/13/2016 11:50AM

Frankel wins with first runner


Unbeaten European champion Frankel got his first winner with his first starter when Cunco rallied from midpack in a six-furlong maiden race Friday at Newbury in England, winning by about three-quarters of a length.

Cunco, trained by John Gosden, is an Irish homebred for the international operation of Don Alberto. The outfit is based in Chile for Carlos Heller Solari and his mother, Liliana Solari, who purchased the former Vinery farm in Kentucky in 2013. They have begun to become a force in the U.S. auction and breeding scene. Don Alberto, which also has a breeding operation in Australia, made headlines when it partnered with Gainesway late last year to repatriate 2003 Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker, the grandsire of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, from Japan.

Frankel, by Galileo, won all 14 of his starts, including 10 Group 1 events, bankrolling more than $4.7 million in three championship seasons. He retired to owner-breeder Juddmonte’s Banstead Manor Stud in Newmarket, England, for the 2013 breeding season.

Cunco is the first foal out of the Group 3-winning Danehill Dancer mare Chrysanthemum, whom Don Alberto purchased in foal for $1.37 million at the 2013 Tattersalls December breeding stock sale. She was part of an outstanding first book for Frankel that included Eclipse Award winners Zagora and Stacelita; two-time Japanese Horse of the Year Vodka; Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Midday and her dam, Midsummer; Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Lahudood; Kentucky Broodmare of the Year Oatsee; British Broodmare of the Year honorees Arrive and Binche; Italian champion Zomaradah, the dam of champion and successful sire Dubawi; European champions Divine Proportions and Queen’s Logic; championship producers Honorine, Maycocks Bay, Musical Treat, Soignee, and Waldmark, among other Grade/Group 1 producers; Epsom Oaks winner Dancing Rain; Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Danedream; and multiple Grade/Group 1 winners Dar Re Mi, Alexander Goldrun, Heat Haze, and Nebraska Tornado.

Other North American-based mares in his book included Grade 1 winner Balance, a half-sister to champion Zenyatta, and Grade 1 winners In Lingerie, Mi Sueno, Dynaforce, Eden’s Moon, Icon Project, and Miss Keller.