Chaldean Ushers in a New Age at Juddmonte

Chaldean at Banstead Manor Stud | Emma Berry


Outside the boxes of the foaling unit at Banstead Manor Stud are Juddmonte's versions of the blue plaques one sees across Britain on the former homes of famous people. Here, of course, the plaques are a subtle green, but when it comes to equine celebrities there can be no bigger name than Frankel (GB). 

He was born in one of the old brick boxes which should be granted special sporting heritage status on February 11, 2008. It is hard to believe that his 16th birthday is looming. Backing on to his foaling box is the one where Kingman (GB) entered the world, also in the month of February but three years later, and along the row is the birthplace of Dansili (GB), whose extraordinary mother Hasili (GB) is commemorated in bronze close to that illustrious foaling wing.

In almost every instance, the Juddmonte stallions go and then they come back to live across the vast expanse of lawn from where their lives began in the lavish yard that was built 100 years ago initially to house the 2,000 Guineas and Derby winner Manna (GB).

An outlier in this regard is this year's new recruit, another winner of the 2,000 Guineas, Chaldean (GB). Laying down an important marker as the first son of Frankel to retire to Banstead Manor, Chaldean was the result of a foal-share by Juddmonte with his breeders, the Harper family of Whitsbury Manor Stud. 

When the chestnut colt appeared at the December Foal Sale of 2020, the Juddmonte inspection team liked what they saw, so much so that Simon Mockridge duly bid 550,000gns to buy out the Harpers. It was a sound decision. 

Chaldean was still four days shy of his third birthday when he became a Classic winner. Still technically three, he now strides across the stallion yard like he owns the place: a proud, strong and correct young stallion. To the manner born, if not at the manor born.

As he struts his stuff before posing without the hint of a fidget, Chaldean already has the professionalism of a stallion who has been putting on such a show for years rather than months. He certainly looks the part, but then the big, bay head of his father appears over the door of his stable as if to remind us that so far the bragging rights are all his. 

One of the plaques at Banstead Manor Stud's foaling unit | Emma Berry

Frankel became the champion sire of Britain and Ireland for the second time in 2023. The Andrew Balding-trained Chaldean, who had also won the previous year's G1 Dewhurst S., just as his sire had done, was one of his 11 Group 1 winners. That list includes the Oaks winner Soul Sister (GB), Nashwa (GB), a Classic heroine herself a year earlier, and the brilliant six-time Group 1 winner Inspiral (GB). Remarkably, all three of those fillies reside in John and Thady Gosden's stable and have remained in training for the coming year.

Chaldean's dam Suelita (GB) (Dutch Art {GB}) had already dropped hints that she was something a bit special when her first two foals, The Broghie Man (GB) (Cityscape {GB}) and Gloves Lynch (GB) (Mukhadram {GB}), each earned black type. Her record improved again when her fourth foal became the G2 Mill Reef S. winner Alkumait (GB), by Whitsbury Manor Stud's home stallion Showcasing (GB), who was himself bred by Juddmonte. Alkumait is now at Capital Stud in Ireland.

Then came Alkumait's full-sister Get Ahead (GB), a Listed winner who was runner-up in the G1 Flying Five S. last season before being bought by Tony Bloom and Ian McAleavey for 2.5 million gns at the Tattersalls December Mares Sale. By then of course she was also a half-sister to a Classic winner. The next one to look out for, and once again in the Juddmonte silks, is the mare's two-year-old filly by Kingman (GB), who topped the foal sale of 2022 at a million gns. She has been named Kassaya (GB), after a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar II, one of the rulers of the Chaldean Empire. A classy touch by a classic operation.

Shane Horan, Juddmonte's nominations manager, says of Chaldean, “He put together a very good sequence of wins following his maiden. He won three very prestigious two-year-old races in the Acomb at York, the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster and the Dewhurst Stakes. The Dewhurst is obviously the crowning race of the year for the two-year-old season, and he won that in the second-fastest time ever. And straightaway we knew we had a stallion prospect, even just based on that.

“But then obviously he trained on as a three-year-old and won the 2,000 Guineas. That solidified his stallion career, and then with the credentials of being a son of Frankel out of a very fast mare who's a proven producer of fast two-year-olds and sprinters, we knew we had an exciting package to deal with.”


Horan recounts how the interest in Chaldean “snowballed” as breeders came to view him during the December Sales. 

“I think just going back to people remembering what he was like as a foal and the commercial breeders, they're trying to produce foals like that. If he can throw [foals] like himself, there's the precocity on his dam side. She is by Dutch Art out of a Green Desert mare, so there's a lot of speed there,” he says. 

Horan reflects on another stellar year for Chaldean's sire in 2023, which has been followed up at the start of this new year by Inspiral winning the Eclipse Award for the Top Female Turf Horse, and Measured Time (GB) becoming his latest big winner in the G1 Jebel Hatta last Friday.

Frankel's first big son to stud was Cracksman,” Horan says. “And from his first crop, he gets an unbeaten French Derby and an Arc winner in Ace Impact. So that's very encouraging. And then throw in the fact that Chaldean was a very good two-year-old, and that's what people really want. So it is encouraging and fingers crossed.”

However much crossing of fingers takes place, it will all be up to the magic of genetics now. Chaldean will certainly be served up a decent book of mares, even considering the competition he faces for blue-blooded females from within his own stable yard.

He stands now in the box once occupied by Rainbow Quest, and he is the charge of Elliott Body, who proudly shows him off while vouching for how easy he has been to handle since his arrival at the stud late last year. 

Once stabled, Chaldean has to his right his own imposing father and the venerable Oasis Dream (GB), still covering at the age of 24 and with a record as both sire and broodmare sire that deserves plenty of respect. To his left is Bated Breath (GB), in the stable once occupied by his late sire Dansili and with a potentially big year ahead of him, and Kingman (GB), who is swiftly compiling his own solid line-up of sons at stud. 

The competition naturally continues beyond the walls of Banstead Manor, too. In Newmarket alone there are three new Group 1-winning sons of Frankel at stud this year – with Triple Time (GB) having joined Darley and Mostahdaf (Ire) at Shadwell – as well as Onesto (Ire), from one of Juddmonte's top families, in France. Farther afield, Adayar (Ire) and Westover (GB), have joined the stallion ranks in Japan, while Hurricane Lane (Ire) has a jumps berth in Ireland. 

It is too early to be talking about succession when it comes to Frankel: he's still king of the hill and likely to be for years. But often the heir comes from within, and Chaldean has plenty in his favour to give him a chance to succeed.


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