Unbeaten champion Frankel was responsible for a very impressive debut winner at Kenilworth on Tuesday when his two-year-old son General Franco romped home to land the first race, the Itsarush.co.za Welcomes You Maiden Juvenile Plate, as he liked.
Despite fears the chestnut would find the 1000m trip on the short side, General Franco showed his class in no uncertain terms when storming home, under jockey Richard Fourie, to stamp his authority on his 10 hapless rivals and score a jawdropping three and a half length win for trainer Justin Snaith.
Hopefully General Franco’s smashing first up win will provide his part-owner Jack Mitchell (he owns the Frankel colt with daughter Nancy Hossack) with some much needed respite, as Mitchell is reported to be very ill at the moment.
Talk after the race suggested connections would like to aim General Franco towards next season’s G1 Cape Guineas.
A fourth winner in South Africa (from as many runners –they include Listed KwaZulu Natal Stakes winner Miss Frankel) for Banstead Manor’s outstanding Frankel (he was Timeform’s highest rated horse in history), General Franco was a R4 000 000 buy from last year’s Cape Premier Yearling where signed for by bloodstock agent John Freeman.
Out of the unraced Kingmambo mare Pale Moon Rising, General Franco’s second dam, Listed Oaks Trial winner Baraka, is a full-sister to Japanese champion Fine Motion and half-sister to globetrotting champion and G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf hero Pilsudski.
General Franco was bred by Klawervlei Stud, and that Bonnievale farm had a day to remember on Tuesday as Klawervlei also bred Alec and Gillian Foster’s promising filly Mirage –an impressive debut winner of the second race.
Unfortunately, Mirage’s win was marred when Iber fell close home, giving former champion S’Manga Khumalo a nasty spill in the process.
Sadly, Ibra was not the only horse to fall on Tuesday, with the Adam Marcus trained After Glow falling in the sixth race –with jockey Aldo Domeyer taking a nasty fall as well. Early reports suggest Aldo was in considerable pain after the race but medical tests are ongoing and nothing has officially been confirmed.