Sheikh snaps up mare carrying Frankel’s foal

A MARE carrying the foal of racing great Frankel has been bought at auction by Godolphin owner Sheikh Mohammed for more than £4 million.

Alan King: 1,000th winner. Picture: PA

John Ferguson, the bloodstock advisor for Sheikh Mohammed, paid 4 million guineas (£4.2 million pounds) for five-year-old Dancing Rain at the Tattersalls December Mare Sale in Newmarket. Ferguson says “she is a jewel and you need jewels to breed champions”.

Frankel, trained by the late Sir Henry Cecil, retired last year after winning all 14 of his races and is rated by many as one of Flat-racing’s greatest horses. He now covers mares for £125,000 pounds a time in his new career at stud.

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Dancing Rain, who won the Epsom and German Oaks, is the first mare to be sold in Britain carrying a foal sired by Frankel.

Meanwhile, trainer Alan King notched a personal milestone at Southwell yesterday when Sego Success provided the Barbury Castle handler with his 1,000th winner over jumps in Britain.

Sent off the 11-8 favourite for the Novices’ Hurdle, the five-year-old stayed on strongly under Wayne Hutchinson to win by two-and-a-half lengths. King, who has also had over 100 winners on the level, looks on target to smash his final total of the last National Hunt season when he only had 60 wins.

The trainer, who was securing his 46th winner of the campaign, said: “I didn’t know anything about it. Thankfully the staff had been keeping count. Obviously it is a nice landmark and something to be proud of.” However, King’s stable has been left saddened by the news Invictus has badly broken down for a second time.

The seven-year-old had been off the track for 21 months through injury and was strongly fancied for the Hennessy Gold Cup on Saturday. He faded in the home straight and finished the race slightly lame and it has since transpired the injury is much worse than first feared. “He’s broken down again in the Hennessy,” said King. “It’s the same leg but a different place and it’s not looking good.”