The great Frankel’s first-born Cunco wins on debut at Newbury

John Gosden-trained colt wins at 7-2 to get champion’s stallion career off to a fine start

Frankel’s stallion career got off to the perfect start as his first-born son Cunco made a winning debut at Newbury.

The mighty Frankel was retired to stud in 2012 as one of the all-time greats, having won each of his 14 career starts for the late Sir Henry Cecil, including 10 at Group One level.

The John Gosden-trained Cunco, the first foal Frankel produced out of the talented mare Chrysanthemum, became the first of his offspring to grace the racecourse in the second division of the Welcome To The Starlight Raceday Maiden Stakes.

Having played up in the parade ring beforehand and looking green going down to the start, the youngster was sent off an easy-to-back 7-2 chance in the hands of Robert Havlin.


Havlin covered his mount up early on and after being asked to mount his challenge, Cunco showed a smart change of gear to run down Isomer and get up by three-quarters of a length.

Previous winners of the six-furlong contest include Adaay, Strong Suit and the multiple Group One winner Canford Cliffs, who chased home Frankel in the 2011 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

Paddy Power reacted by making Cunco — who was born on January 11th, 2014 — the 6-1 favourite for the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Cunco is owned by the Chilean-based Don Alberto Stable, while Frankel stands at Banstead Manor Stud in Newmarket.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Juddmonte Farms supremo Khalid Abdullah, in whose colours Frankel shone so brightly, was thrilled with the successful start.

He told Channel 4 Racing: “It couldn’t be better — Prince Khalid’s absolutely delighted.

“It’s really exciting. To have his first foal be his first runner and his first winner is pretty remarkable.

“There’s been a mixture of excitement, tension, apprehension — the whole gamut of emotions.

“We’ve been excited about him, but there’s been a lot of very good racehorses who weren’t good stallions.

“From the point of view of Frankel, the interest in him has never waned. It’s been ongoing and phenomenal.”

Grimthorpe is relishing the prospect of seeing some of Abdullah’s Frankel home-breds making it to the racecourse in the coming weeks.

“We’ve got them with a variety of trainers. (Sir) Michael Stoute has got a horse out of Midday, we’ve got a very nice horse that Andre (Fabre) likes that’s a half-brother to Byword,” said Grimthorpe.

“John (Gosden) has got a few of ours as well and he rang me up straight after today’s race — so he’s fired up.”