and race fans alike were excited at the announcement that Bullet
Train, ¾ brother to the English Superhorse Frankel, was headed to
Kentucky. Bullet Train started his stud career at the historic
Wintergreen Stallion Station in January 2013 for $7,500.
Overseas horse racing
rarely captures the attention of the average American racegoer unless
a special horse such as Giant's Causeway, Black Caviar or Frankel
comes along. Americans were transfixed by Frankel and became used to
seeing his beautiful ¾ older brother Bullet Train setting the pace
in prestigious events such as the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Queen
Anne Stakes, Juddmonte International and Champion Stakes, all Group 1
the racetrack, Bullet Train possessed precocious miler speed. He beat
a full field of maidens at mile in his only start as a two year old.
In April of the following year, the Juddmonte home-bred placed
second in the 1 ¼ mile Conditions Stakes in his first start of the
season. Bullet Train came back in less than three weeks in an
exciting renewal of the Derby Trial Stakes (Gr. 3), a race his sire
had captured in 1984. Leading every step of the way of the one mile
race, Bullet Train turned back all challengers and flashed a
brilliant turn of foot in the stretch, widening his advantage by 2 ¼
lengths. This lightning acceleration would later become a trademark
of Frankel. Conditioned by Sir Henry Cecil, Bullet Train spent the
majority of his career as a pacemaker for his more illustrious
younger brother. Despite being used early against elite company,
Bullet Train finished fourth in the Lockinge Stakes and Sussex
Stakes, both held at a mile. Bullet Train raced for four years and
compiled a 14-2-1-0 (£114,824)race record.
Wells - Kind (IRE), by Danehill) carries a blend of natural miler
speed combined with stout staying power. His sire Sadler's Wells was
France's 1984 Champion Miler. He earned victories in the Irish Two
Thousand Guineas, Coral Eclipse and Phoenix Stakes.
Wells' sire Northern Dancer revolutionized breeding worldwide and his
sons passed along the great stallion's attributes. Sadler's Wells
dominated the breeding world in Europe leading the sire lists a
record 14 times, 13 of which were in succession from 1992 – 2004.
Only one horse, Bullet Train's damsire Danehill, dethroned Sadler's
Wells for one of those years as leading sire.
of Sadler's Wells are carrying on the legacy of their sire. Galileo
is the sire of Bullet Train's ¾ brother Frankel and he has been a
leading sire in England/Ireland for the last four years. Montjeu
sired 112 stakes winners, including three Epsom Derby winners in his
short eleven year stud career. Other sire sons of Sadler's Wells
include High Chaparral, Yeats, Beat Hollow, El Prado, Perfect Soul
and Bullet Train's close relative, Powerscourt.
Record: 11-6-4-0 ($663,423)
- Coral Eclipse Stakes (Gr. 1) 1 ¼ miles
- Phoenix Stakes (Gr. 1) 1 ¼ miles
- Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Gr. 1) 1 mile
– Derby Trial Stakes (Gr. 2) 1 ¼ miles
– Beesford Stakes (Gr. 2) 1 mile
– Prex du Jockey Club (Gr. 1) 1 ½ miles
Train is the result of careful planning through four generations of
Juddmonte breeding. This distaff line is a clever blend of speed and
stamina, which has been successfully passed along to Bullet Train and
his siblings. Bullet Train's free--running style may also be
inherited from his female family.
back to Bullet Train's fifth damsire, Persian Gulf was a
front-running colt who was successful at 1 ½ miles. He was a useful
sire who passed along speed and stamina to his offspring. The aptly
named Roan Rocket, Bullet Train's fourth damsire, won at 1 ¼ miles,
but he was best as a miler due to physical aliments. Bullet Train's
fourth and fifth dams Rock Garden and Nasira inherited speed from
their sires and were sprinters.
Garden was sent to the US to be bred to the Champion Three Year Old
Stage Door Johnny (Solid/Professional Chef-de-race). The mating
yielded their daughter Rockfest who placed in the 11 ½ furlong
Lingfield Oaks Trial Stakes (Gr. 3). Rockfest joined the Juddmonte
broodmare band at the end of her racing career. She was bred to the
English/French Champion Older Male, Rainbow Quest (Classic/Solid
Chef-de-race) and bore her best foal Rainbow Lake, Bullet Train's
second dam. Rainbow Lake won a pair of stakes races, one at 1 ¼
miles and the Group 3 Lancashire Oaks at 1 ½ miles. She was a
prolific broodmare, producing 14 foals and six winners, with three
(by Sadler's Wells) is Rainbow Lake's most accomplished foal. A
multiple group/graded stakes winner on two continents, Powerscourt
won from 1 ¼ to 1 ½ miles. He's best known to American racegoers
as a two-time winner of the Arlington Million. Powerscourt was
disqualified at the wire of one edition of the race in 2004.
Powerscourt also finished third in the 2004 Breeders' Cup Turf.
important to note that Powerscourt, a full brother to Bullet Train's
dam Kind, kicked off his stud career with an Irish Group 1 winner in
his first crop. The stallion's US offspring are best over turf and
synthetics, however he has sired eight dirt stakes winners, mostly
Lake's son Last Train (by Rail Link) now a four year old, placed in
the Grand Prix de Paris (Gr. 1) and Qatar Prix Neil (Gr. 2) both at
1 ½ miles.
brings us to Rainbow Lake's daughter Kind. She is likely responsible
for the sprint-like quickening trait of her sons. Despite her
stamina-laden pedigree, Kind won her maiden at seven furlongs. She
was victorious the Flower of Scotland Stakes at five furlongs and the
Kilvington Stakes at six furlongs. She also placed in two sprint
a broodmare, Kind is on her way to blue hen status. Kind has
produced only four foals of racing age. All four are colts and three
of them own group stakes blacktype. This is a remarkable feat for
such a young mare. Bullet Train is her oldest son. His brother
Frankel earned superstar status during his racing career. Noble
Mission, Frankel's full brother, has finished in the money seven of
eight times, including a victory in the 1 ¼ mile Newmarket Stakes
and the 1 ½ mile Gorden Stakes (Gr. 3). The youngest, Morpheus, a
2010 son of Oasis Dream, was unplaced in his only start.
(Danehill – Rainbow Lake, by Rainbow Quest)
Record: 13-6-0-4 (£72,402)
- Kilvington Stakes 6F
- Flower of Scotland Stakes 5F
- Ballyogan Stakes (Gr. 3) 6F
- Landsdown Fillies Stakes 5F
Bullet Train's damsire, won one of three starts as a juvenile. At
three, he placed third in the English 2000 Guineas Stakes and fourth
in the Irish counterpart stakes at a mile. Shortening up to sprint
distances, the son of Danzig scored three stakes wins including a
victory in the Group 1 July Cup. These exploits earned Danehill
highweight sprinter honors for his age group.
Sadler's Wells did in Europe, Danehill revolutionized the
Thoroughbred breed in Australia. As one of the first shuttle
stallions from England, Danehill lead the sire ranks down under for
nine years. Danehill was so prolific, he ended Sadler's Wells
consecutive run as leading sire in England/Ireland, grabbing the
title for himself three times. Danehill was also named leading sire
in France twice.
earned his first recognition as a leading broodmare sire in 2011 due
in part to the exploits of his son Frankel and daughter, Prix de
l’Arc de Triomphe heroine Danedream. Danehill is currently
represented as a damsire by almost 200 stakes winners worldwide.
Pretty impressive for a stallion whose daughters bore their first
foals roughly 13 years ago.
is one of the most influential stallions in modern history. His
success may be attributed to his unique 3 x 3 inbreeding to the blue
hen Natalma. Danehill's second dam Spring Adieu (by Buckpasser) is a
half sister to Northern Dancer, Danehill's second tail sire.
(Danzig – Razyana, by His Majesty)
Record: 9-4-1-2 (£177,465)
- Sprint Cup (G-1) 6F
– Cork and Orrery Stakes (G-3) 6F
– European Free Handicap 7F
cross of Sadler's Wells and his sons with Danehill sire line mares
has produced 34 stakes winners, including seven Group 1 winners.
the out-flux of precious endurance attributes from a stamina
challenged US, Bullet Train is a much needed addition to the gene
pool. He brings a whopping 26 Classic, 11 Solid and one Professional
attributes to the breeding shed. Very few stallions in America carry
as many Classic influences and even less of those elite carry Solid
and Professional influences.
Train has a triple dose of 3 x 5 inbreeding to Natalma through his
sire and damsire line, both of which trace back to Northern Dancer.
The stallion also carries the bloodlines of Blushing Groom, Hail To
Reason, His Majesty (Ribot and Buckpasser) and Stage Door Johnny
(Princequello). Duplicating these sire lines is fairly easy in the
US and has resulted in numerous stakes winners.
Train is a total out cross for two of the three most prevalent sire
lines in the US, making him a very attractive prospect for breeders.
Wells and his sons are proven with mares from the Mr. Prospector sire
line. Rachael Alexandra, duel English/Irish Derby hero Camelot,
Breeders' Cup Turf Champ Red Rocks and the recently injured Kentucky
Derby hopeful Violence are all examples of this breeding. Consider
breeding mares by these sires and their sons to Bullet Train: Candy
Ride, Carson City, Crafty Prospector, Gone West, Kingmambo, Miswaki,
Quiet American, Seeking The Gold,
Smart Strike, and Unbridled and Woodman.
stallions descended from Raise A Native, such as Affirmed, Alydar,
Forty Niner (Distorted Humor) and Majestic Light (Majestic Prince)
are also an option and have precedent with the Sadler's Wells sire
Wells works well with the Bold Ruler sire line, primarily through
A.P. Indy and his sons. Horses bred along this line include Kentucky
Oaks heroine Plum Pretty, Remsen Stakes winner O'Prado Again and
Jessamine Stakes winner Wind In My Wings. Obvious choices here are
mares by Pulpit, Tapit, Malibu Moon, Bernardini, Secretariat, Is It
True, Doneraile Court and Raja Baba.
back to the Northern Dancer line is also proven, especially when the
damsire is a great-grandson of Northern Dancer. Mares by Deputy
Minister, Dixieland Band, Giant's Causeway, the Nureyev and Nijinsky
lines, Storm Cat, and Unusual Heat could work well with Bullet Train.
Wells is also proven with mares by other sire lines especially In
Reality (Honour And glory, Known Fact, Tiznow) Roberto (Dynaformer,
Kris S., Rock Hard Ten, Arch), Blushing Groom and Halo (Saint
names found in Bullet Train's pedigree are Natalma, Almahmoud, Native
Dancer, Hyperion, Nasrullah, Nearco, Buckpasser, Flowerbowl,
Herbager, Princequillo, Raise A Native, Red God, Ribot, Royal
Charger, Tom Fool and Turn To.
Bullet Train's pedigree should compliment a variety of mares in the
Train is a durable, sound horse who raced without medication. He
doesn't look like the typical lean European turf horse and his
conformation should mesh well with American mares. At 16.1 hands
high, he's medium sized, yet solid and muscular. Bullet Train is
very correct with good bone. He has a beautiful head and an alert,
kind eye. The dark bay stallion has powerful, muscular shoulders,
slightly larger than his hindquarters, yet he is still balanced.
Bullet Train has excellent feet with good angles and decent heels.
His hooves are large and well- shaped, not the typical flat hoof
found on most turf runners. This is a major indicator that his
offspring may handle surfaces other than turf. Personality wise,
Bullet Train is a very laid-back, intelligent horse.
conformation could correct smallish or fragile mares or those with
Train was a natural miler on the track, yet he carries the pedigree
of a stayer. These types of stallions magnify the best of their
progeny's distaff lines. Based upon his pedigree and conformation,
we should expect Bullet Train's babies to handle most surfaces and be
adept across a range of distances. Some of his progeny could be win
early types, depending on the individual female families. Bloodstock manager Sean Field stated, “With his excellent speed, athleticism and outstanding pedigree, Bullet
Train really suits American racing and should be well-received by
breeders from coast-to-coast.”
Train's initial fee of $7,500 is extremely reasonable given the
appeal of his pedigree and his durable soundness. Some have called
Bullet Train the “Poor man's Frankel.” For those who can afford
Frankel's initial fee, plus the costs associated with shipping a
mare, that may well be. For the rest of the breeding community,
Wintergreen Stallion Station offers the chance to breed to a quality
stud that could turn out to be a very solid investment.