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Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Noble Mission emulates brilliant brother for a fairytale win

Noble Mission and James Doyle (far side) get back up to overhaul Al Kazeem
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Two years after the mighty Frankel had gone out at the top in the Qipco Champion Stakes his brother Noble Mission completed a famous familial double when making all for a fairytale win under James Doyle.

The success was written in the stars for Lady Cecil who had taken over the training of the five-year-old the previous year on the death of her husband Sir Henry.

From humble beginnings when beaten favourite on his debut as a juvenile at Yarmouth in 2011, Noble Mission had shown some fair Group form at three and four but nothing to suggest the run of success he achieved at five culminating in his gusty defeat of Al Kazeem at Ascot.

Lady Cecil recalls: "We changed tactics with Noble Mission that year and decided to be positive on him which first paid off when he won the Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown in easy fashion and he just took off after that."

George Scott, now a trainer in his own right in Newmarket, was assistant at Warren Place at the time and he remembers the run up to Champions Day. He said: "Noble Mission won two Group 1s early that year and was on for a third in Germany in July but he had a wide draw and got beat. After that we decided to give him a break to prepare for Ascot. "

During the build-up, the reformed Noble Mission turned in one piece of work that Scott will never forget. He went on: "We took him to Kempton for a racecourse gallop and it still sends shivers down my spine when I remember how well he worked. He was supposed to join the lead horse a furlong out but was going so well he went on at the three pole and just went further clear."

On the big day, Noble Mission was rather overlooked by bookmakers at 7-1 behind 7-4 favourite Cirrus Des Aigles who, in another little tie-up, had chased home Frankel two years previously.

Lady Cecil said: "It was an exciting race and Noble Mission made the running as usual but I had my head in my hands at the furlong pole when Al Kazeem ranged up. James Doyle, who got on very well with him, didn't panic though and they just battled back."

The magnitude of what had occurred took a while to sink in. She added: "It was an unforgettable fairytale experience for everyone at Warren Place and at Juddmonte. It was a very emotional day when the memories of Henry and Frankel winning it two years before just came flooding back. Who could have written it?"

If you enjoyed this you should read others in the series:

Incomparable Frankel bows out in triumph

Muhaarar: He travelled like the winner throughout and quickened right away

Cirrus Des Aigles: Everybody thought we were a bit mad to run but I love the challenge


Memories of Henry and Frankel winning it two years before just came flooding back. Who could have written it?
E.W. Terms
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