This was the week Frankel fever reached boiling point, but while most of the country was gripped by pre-Champion Stakes excitement, business continued at Tattersalls as the October Yearling Sale came to a close.
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• Juddmonte's flagship farm Banstead Manor will be all the richer in more ways than one over the coming weeks after it was officially confirmed that the world's best racehorse, Frankel, would be retiring to their Newmarket base. Frankel, a son of Galileo, needs little introduction, and signed off his glittering career with a gutsy victory in Ascot's 10f Champion Stakes. The race was widely regarded as his toughest task yet, not only taking on unknown opposition in the shape of multiple Group 1 winner and reigning title-holder Cirrus Des Aigles (Even Top), but also having to face a track much softer than ideal for Sir Henry Cecil's incredible charge.
The atmosphere was electric long before Frankel entered the parade ring, where legions of his fans filled every available viewing spot to catch a glimpse of their equine hero. Tense times ensued after the day's biggest name was slowly away out of the stalls, left at the back of the field and separated from his usual pacemaker Bullet Train (Sadler's Wells), but like all fairytales a happy ending saw Frankel and his jockey Tom Queally dig deep to put a length and three-quarters over Cirrus Des Aigles, who was still impressive in defeat.
The winner of all fourteen starts in a manner befitting that of a true champion, Frankel will now be let down ahead of his new career at stud.
• Frankel and his three-parts brother Bullet Train were not the first representatives of the week for their dam Kind (Danehill), after half-sibling Morpheus was seen out for the first time. By Frankel's future stablemate Oasis Dream, the juvenile colt is of a different stamp to the former and his full-brother Noble Mission, but like the latter has been kept for a late-season debut. Entered in an eight furlong Nottingham maiden against eleven rivals, Morpheus was partnered by his trainer Sir Henry Cecil's stable jockey Tom Queally, but despite mounting a challenge three out, was unable to land a blow and finished a 16-length seventh behind 6/4 favourite Tawhid (Invincible Spirit).
• Kind may have missed out on a double, but a daughter of Unfuwain, Shamah, is proving to be a highly versatile broodmare after dual-code victories at the weekend. Bondage, a five-year-old son of Whipper, landed the 2m5f handicap hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday for Irish handler Gordon Elliot and AP McCoy, his second triumph on the trot. The following day his full sister, Pollyana, posted an impressive four length win over her 11 rivals in the Listed Prix Casimir Delamarre, her first outing in a black-type event.
• Shortly after it was announced Australian sprinter Helmet would be joining the Darley stallion roster at Kildangan, details of another new resident emerged after it was revealed Racing Post Trophy winner Casamento would stand at the operation from 2013. The aforementioned win was a first at Group 1 level after missing out on victory in the National Stakes by just a head to Pathfork (Distorted Humor), in what was only a second outing for the son of Shamardal. In between these top-flight contests the then Michael Halford-trained colt landed the Group 2 Beresford Stakes, finishing the year as his sire's top-rated juvenile to date. At three, running in the famous Godolphin colours and under the tutelage of Mahmood al Zarooni, Casamento joined the many names to be beaten by the mighty Frankel, on this occasion in the 2,000 Guineas, but did return to the winners' enclosure later that year when a comfortable victor of the Group 3 Prix du Prince d'Orange. A fee has yet to be announced for Casamento, who will stand alongside his sire.
• It was a Shamardal colt who topped the bidding on Tuesday's Book 2 session at the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, fetching a price of 245,00gns which would fail to be beaten as the hammer fell for one last time on Thursday. Featuring an extra day resulting in four sessions, the Book 2 catalogue boasted an extra 210 entries; while this renders the aggregate somewhat incomparible to previous years, the median increased by 7% to 32,000gns and a barely perceptible drop in mean to 39,390gns proved the market is still there for buyers and vendors alike. It was not the place for Galileo fans however as the star of Book 1 was represented by a single filly; while she may have been alone in the catalogue however, the Ballybin Stud offering certainly wasn't friendless in the ring, commanding the sale's third highest price at 205,000gns.
The aggregate for all four sessions exceeded 31,000,000gns, becoming the second highest-grossing sale this year behind Book 1. The in-house celebrations will have continued at the conclusion of Book 3, held on the Friday, as the 1,669,600gns aggregate pushed the total for the entire October Yearling Sale beyond the 100,000,000gns mark, setting a new European record. An 87% clearance rate demonstrated the stamina of the market and those involved as 199 of the 229 offerings were sold, averaging at 8,390gns, with the mean of 6,000gns up 9% on last year's figures. An Exceed And Excel colt topped the session when knocked down to Harrogate Bloodstock for 52,000gns. The sire of course enjoyed an excellent result the following day when Excelebration confirmed his top-class credentials with a commanding victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.
• This week will be remembered as one in which true greatness was witnessed, but while one world-beater affirmed his place at the top, another sadly lost his life to colic. Presvis, the Globe-trotting star of Luca Cumani's Bedford House Stables, won from Sandown to Sha Tin, and in the process became Britain's highest-earning gelding, amassing over £4.3m in prize money. The son of Sakhee had been retired earlier this year after a last campaign in Dubai.
• German sire Monsun, who was euthanased last month due to an acute neurological disease, was awarded a 16th individual Group 1 winner on Sunday, his second in a fortnight following Silasol's head verdict over Topaze Blanche (Zamindar) in the Prix Marcel-Boussac. The colt in question, Novellist, showed he was back to form following a disappointing run behind Germany's star filly Danedream (Lomitas) in the Grosser Preis Von Baden last month, easily accounting for his five rivals in the Gran Premio del Jockey Club Italiano at San Siro.