Frankel’s Eminent Shakes Up the Guineas Picture In the Craven

4th at NEW, Gr. Stk, £60,000G3 bet365 Craven S. (8f)Winner: Eminent (Ire), c, 3 by Frankel (GB)

By Sean Cronin

As the least-proven in the line-up for Thursday’s G3 bet365 Craven S. at Newmarket, Sir Peter Vela’s Eminent (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) had it to do but he was able to stamp his authority on some of last year’s premier juveniles and maintain his unbeaten sequence in style. Sent off at 8-1 on the strength of his spring work and the evidence of his taking maiden win over this course and distance in September, the dark bay–who was bred by Richard and Roisin Henry’s Premier Bloodstock–tracked last year’s G1 Racing Post Trophy winner Rivet (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) among the quartet racing towards the stand’s side. Gaining the upper hand with 150 yards remaining, he asserted for a 1 3/4-length success from that rival, with ‘TDN Rising Star’ Benbatl (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) a neck away in third. The 9-4 favourite War Decree (War Front) ran below expectations and faded out to be a disappointing sixth. “He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do and it is very exciting as we came here to use it as a prep race for the Guineas and he wasn’t completely tuned up,” trainer Martyn Meade said. “What have we got on our hands?”

Thursday, Newmarket, Britain
BET365 CRAVEN S.-G3, £60,000, NEW, 4-20, 3yo, c/g, 8fT, 1:35.15, g/f.
1–#@EMINENT (IRE), 126, c, 3, by Frankel (GB)
1st Dam: You’ll Be Mine (G1SP-Eng), by Kingmambo
2nd Dam: Quarter Moon (Ire), by Sadler’s Wells
3rd Dam: Jude (GB), by Darshaan (GB)
(150,000gns Ylg ‘15 TATOCT). O-Sir Peter Vela; B-Premier Bloodstock (IRE); T-Martyn Meade; J-Jim Crowley. £34,026. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $50,226. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Rivet (Ire), 126, c, 3, Fastnet Rock (Aus)–Starship (Ire), by Galileo (Ire). O-The Starship Partnership; B-Des Scott (IRE); T-William Haggas. £12,900.
3–Benbatl (GB), 126, c, 3, Dubawi (Ire)–Nahrain (GB), by Selkirk. O-Godolphin; B-Darley (GB); T-Saeed bin Suroor. £6,456.
Margins: 1 3/4, NK, 2. Odds: 8.00, 2.75, 4.00.
Also Ran: Contrapposto (Ire), Larchmont Lad (Ire), War Decree, Gulliver (GB). Click for the Racing Post result or the free catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Eminent impressed many with the style of his debut win here in September, but the form left something to be desired with the runner-up Vantage Point (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) taking five starts to get off the mark before being sold for just 60,000gns at Tattersalls in February and third Alqamar (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) getting beaten seven lengths at Redcar next time. What he did have was the Frankel factor, so anything was possible as he took on the likes of Rivet, War Envoy and Larchmont Lad (Ire) (Footstepsinthesand {GB}) with their 2016 pattern-race successes behind him. Granted a perfect lead from the former as they opted to stay towards the stand’s rail, he was able to enter contention without any stress running down into the “dip” where War Envoy began to tread water on the far side. Forging between Larchmont Lad on the outer and Rivet with the keen-running Benbatl also joining in approaching the furlong pole, Eminent received a slap with Jim Crowley’s whip soon after and he duly delivered the same strong finishing surge that he had displayed on debut to clear away up the climb to the line.

“He’s the real deal and was only getting going and hitting top gear as he crossed the winning line,” his rider explained. “I have never had a horse take so long to pull up after the line and I was really impressed. He’s got a great mind and my only worry was whether he would have enough toe for it, as when I rode him in work I was actually a little bit disappointed because I thought he would go whizz. That was when I wondered if this would be too sharp for him today and he might want a bit further, but he’s just a class horse. He was first out of the stalls and so I was able to take him back and get him into a good rhythm without him being too keen. He relaxed nicely there and I got a nice tow from Rivet.” Meade is thinking of a potential Derby tilt after the Guineas and said, “He is very special and I’ll go and wrap him up now and make sure he’s alright. He will definitely stay further, but the main thing now is the Guineas. I was worried about the pace, but thankfully Rivet provided that and I knew it would take a good one to beat him when he came there.”

Amazingly for a son of the brilliant Juddmonte sire with his breeding, Eminent was led out unsold at Tattersalls only to be bought privately outside the ring. He is pure Ballydoyle on his dam’s side, being out of the stable’s G1 Fillies’ Mile third You’ll Be Mine who was owned by Roisin Henry and stayed at least 10 furlongs. Her only other foal was the sprinter As Good As Gold (Ire) (Oasis Dream {GB}) who was transferred out of Aidan O’Brien’s yard to Richard Fahey and only showed moderate ability, while her 2015 and 2016 seasons were barren. The second dam is the high-class but quirky Quarter Moon, who had the pace to win the G1 Moyglare Stud S. over seven furlongs at two and finish runner-up in the G1 Irish 1000 Guineas and also the stamina to fill the same spot in the G1 English and Irish Oaks. That sister to the similarly high-class Irish Guineas heroine Yesterday (Ire) and smart All My Loving (Ire) has produced four black-type performers in total headed by Diamondsandrubies (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) who captured the G1 Pretty Polly S. All My Loving threw the ill-fated G2 Hardwicke S. and G2 King Edward VII S. scorer Thomas Chippendale (Ire) (Dansili {GB}), while further back in this esteemed dynasty of Alruccaba (Ire) (Crystal Palace {Fr}) are the likes of the G1 Prix Royal-Oak and G2 Goodwood Cup heroine Allegretto (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), the G2 Nassau S. and G2 Sun Chariot S. winner Last Second (Ire) (Alzao) and her G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains and GI Shadwell Turf Mile S.-winning son Aussie Rules, as well as Kirsten Rausing’s high-class grey mares by Alzao Alborada (GB) and Albanova (GB).


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