First up, I must admit I stole that headline from the Eastern Daily Press. It was just too good to ignore (or to beat with my own).
Secondly, I should explain the detail behind the genius headline.
Love is in the air. We all know that, thanks to the commercialised monstrosity that is the 14th February. Couples up and down the country are getting ready to share a bottle of Pinot and a pizza, whilst staring lovingly in to each other’s eyes over the dinner table. Sounds lovely doesn’t it?
But it seems that Cupid isn’t only working his magic at Pizza Express. In a state of the art stable on Banstead Manor Stud in Newmarket, a horseracing superstar is also in the firing line of Cupid’s bow. Yes, today is the day that Frankel starts his new life as a ‘stud’, in the true sense of the word.
Frankel, the greatest racehorse to ever grace the racetrack, the magnificent stallion that delighted race goers with his speed, beauty and unbeatable talent, will cover the first of, hopefully, many mares today. In a second career that is likely to last for many more years than his first, Frankel is set to cover three mares a day, with each tryst lasting for no more than 20 seconds. And breeders from across the world are queuing up to pay £125,000 a time to have their mares rendez vous with the famous Frankel. Breeders are willing to stake big money on the hope that some of his superstar magic will filter down to their foals.
However, success on the racetrack does not necessarily translate in to success on the stud farm. Frankel might not really be ‘up for it’ three times a day. Behind the superstar facade, he might not be the alpha male that everyone is hoping he is. This does happen, as I’m sure many of you can attest from personal experience; I know I certainly can. When I was younger, my family owned a prize winning Chocolate Labrador called Charlie. He was admired wherever we went, and won ‘Dog with the Waggiest Tail’ at our local country fair for three consecutive years. Much like Frankel we retired Charlie from this kind of high level competition before his winning streak was bought to an end. He therefore retired a champion, and his waggy tail reputation remained intact until the day he died. As I am sure you can imagine, this lead Charlie in to becoming hot property amongst the bitches of Leicestershire and suitors were soon being lined up from far and wide. But when it came to it, Charlie didn’t perform. I won’t paint a too graphic picture, but let’s just say Charlie lolled about seemingly not really knowing what to do. And that was the end of that. Charlie’s tail kept wagging enthusiastically, but not much else was wagging that day, and no puppies were born.
Thankfully, sources at the stud that Frankel now calls home are confident that Frankel is going to be able to perform. He has been described as displaying classic ‘alpha male’ behaviour, and seems to be understanding what is expected of him next. I personally cannot imagine Frankel not being a success in his second line of work. This is the greatest racehorse that has ever lived. He doesn’t do failure; it’s not an idea he entertains. For the sake of the breeders paying approximately £6,250 per second for a piece of him, and in keeping with the Valentine’s Day spirit, let’s hope he keeps on winning and delivering.