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Noble Mission Lands Gordon Stakes

1 Noble Mission 11/4
2 Encke 8/1
3 Michelangelo 6/4F
7 ran Distances: nse, 2½l, 3¼l
TIME 2m 37.02s (slow by 3.02s)

Noble Mission, a brother to mighty Frankel, landed today’s bet365 Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

Noble Mission
© Racehorse Photos

Noble Mission

Owned and bred like Frankel by Prince Khalid Abdulla, and similarly trained and ridden by Sir Henry Cecil and Tom Queally, Noble Mission is not as good as his older sibling, but victory in this Group 3 contest stamps him as well above average.

Prince Khalid’s racing manager, Lord Grimthorpe, said of Noble Mission: “He’s improved mentally as much as physically and looking at him in the paddock you could see he is much more the finished article. He’s acting much more sensibly and professionally. It was a really good effort today.

“He wears a hood and we feel it’s really important to him - he wears it at home, too. We took it off him once and he didn’t work quite so well. It’s not because he’s nervous, but it helps his concentration.

“Tom said the horse took him into the race and he wanted to get upsides the runner-up [Encke] and eyeball him and he stuck his nose out and tried. In that respect he’s done it very genuinely.”

Ladbrokes , who sponsor the St Leger, Britain’s oldest and final Classic of the season, cut Noble Mission to 14/1 from 20/1 for that event. Grimthorpe said: “That race is a possibility, but I think Sir Henry will want to take the horse to York for the Great Voltigeur Stakes [August 22] to test those credentials further.

“It was hugely important to win a Group race with this horse for a number of reasons. His dam, Kind, has now produced three Group winners from three foals which is pretty remarkable, but it’s also important for the family and for him as a potential stallion - it’s really what Juddmonte [Prince Khalid’s breeding operation] is all about.

Sir Henry was absent from today’s meeting having been unwell, but Grimthorpe said: “He’s getting along great, but he’s got to look after himself and the horses at home.”

Jockey Tom Queally was delighted with Noble Mission’s attitude:

“It’s a great start to the meeting and thankfully we got the verdict. You never know if you’ve won but I felt Noble Mission had his head down at the right time. He took me into it sooner than I wanted and I was headed before coming back, said Queally.

“He dug deep when it mattered and I made the point of going to eyeball the other horse because I thought last time at Ascot the winner Thomas Chippendale caught him a bit by surprise. We were the width of four horses away from each other.

“He is a nice horse and he is improving - he’s going places. He travelled into the race well and sometimes he takes you there too easily so when you set him alight there is no taking him back, but he realised he had a battle on his hands and rose to it.”


bet365 Gordon Stakes (Group 3)
£60,000 added, 3yo only, 1m 4f, Class 1
7 Ran
Going: Good

Starting Price
Beaten Distance
Noble Mission
Sir H R A Cecil
T P Queally
9st 0lbs
11 - 4
M Al Zarooni
M Barzalona
9st 0lbs
8 - 1
J H M Gosden
William Buick
9st 0lbs
6 - 4
2 1/2 lengths
P Schiergen
A Starke
9st 0lbs
9 - 2
3 1/4 lengths
Minimise Risk
A M Balding
J P Spencer
9st 0lbs
33 - 1
4 lengths
J Dunlop
P Hanagan
9st 0lbs
14 - 1
19 lengths
Ed De Gas
Rae Guest
C Catlin
9st 0lbs
28 - 1



The lightly-raced Encke posted a tremendous effort to lose out by just a nose to Noble Mission in the Gordon Stakes and will head to York’s Ebor meeting next to boost his racecourse experience.

© Racehorse Photos


Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said: “We’re delighted with that. We’ll head towards the Great Voltigeur - that’s his next port of call.

“He ran really well. Stepping up to a mile and a half has helped him. He’s just a little bit short on experience but that will come with time.”

Despite the good run, there was bad news for Encke’s jockey Mickael Barzalona, who was called before the stewards after the race. The panel found him to be in breach of the whip rule by being above the permitted level and suspended him for four days. The suspension will run from Tuesday, 14 to Friday, 17 August.

John Gosden, who trains Michelangelo for Bjorn Nielsen, said of the colt’s third-place finish: “He’s won here but he did get a bit unbalanced on the track. He should go to the St Leger - flat track. He’ll have one more run then the Leger.

“I was third in this race with Arctic Cosmos so it doesn’t bother me. I did not expect him to win today.”

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