The horse that could be worth £100m
Filed under: Investing
Frankel, known for his green and pink racing silks, will retire after running his 14th race in Saturday's Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot. But rather than looking forward to a peaceful retirement, he will take up residence at his owner's Banstead Manor Stud at Cheveley.
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There he will be expected to serve up to 200 mares a year. Based on this, his value is estimated at around £100 million, which would make him the most valuable stud ever. Stud fees won't be set until Saturday.
"The aim is to make him a successful stallion, but there are many unknowns," Lord Grimthorpe racing manager to Prince Khalid, told the Daily Telegraph.
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"We would like to make him available to other breeders because it helps you to know more about what's going to fit and suit. It's trial and error, and the outside mares help give you the width. You really don't know what [bloodlines] will work until you give it a try. If you restrict the [type of] mares available, it doesn't help."
Frankel has already made his owner £2.2 million in prize money.
Frankel comes from the most successful sire line of the past 50 years. But making the switch from a racing regime to the breeding sheds could be tricky. Other horses, like Mill Reef and Nijinsky, have shown that it is difficult for a retired champion racehorse to sire one who is his equal or even better.
The most successful sire of all time, with 349 stakes winners and 89 Group/Grade I winners, is Danehill, a Thoroughbred racehorse who was bred in the US and became a champion sire on both sides of the Equator. He died in 2003. While he was a racehorse, he made his greatest impact as a stallion when he retired at the Coolmore Stud in Ireland.
However, Seattle Slew proved that retired racehorses can be successful studs. In the 1980s, the Triple Crown winner mated up to 60 times a year in his Kentucky home, for the princely fee of several hundred thousand dollars for each impregnated mare. More than 100 of his offspring have won stakes races, earning $75 million for their owners.