bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes
|Group 3, Sandown Park
1m 2f 7y, Class 1
|Friday 25th April 2014|
1 Noble Mission 4/1
2 Telescope 5/2
3 Contributer 9/1
NR: Robin Hoods Bay
5 ran Distances: 9l, 9l, nk
TIME 2m 15.89s (slow by 10.09s)
Noble Mission responded to a positive ride by James Doyle to score a facile success in the bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown.
Having had the benefit of a run at Newbury just 13 days earlier and with his stamina assured, Frankel's brother was sent to the front after a furlong and made this mile-and-a-quarter contest a true test.
Telescope tried to close in the straight, but the Lady Cecil-trained Noble Mission (4-1) went further and further away to win the Group Three event by nine lengths. Contributor was third, while 6-5 favourite Sky Hunter was disappointing.
Doyle said: "Looking at the race, there didn't seem to be anything that wanted to go there with intent. We thought about it before.
"After riding in the first I thought the ground was very testing and that would play to our strengths, so that made our mind up. We don't want to get too carried away, but he's done it nicely. Whether it will work again we're not sure.
"He's been called a few names in the past, but he's bounced out and led there. He's kept galloping all the way to the line, so it's hard to fault him."
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Noble Mission's owner Khalid Abdullah, added: "We discussed it beforehand in the paddock and said there wasn't much speed in the race, so we said we'd have to be brave. He's fit and we'll think he'll go on the ground. It might just find the others out a bit.
"Physically and mentally, he's done well over the winter. He's been great at home and he's trained really nicely. Jane (Lady Cecil) and the team have done a great job with him. Prince Khalid kept him in training, so hopefully we'll progress from here."
Lady Cecil said: "When we looked to see if there was going to be pace in the race we thought he has been doing a lot of work at home from the front. He's been really consistent and we thought he had a big one in him and we're really pleased with today. It's so good when a plan comes together.
"He's versatile in trip, track and ground, so we're lucky to have lots of options, but nothing specific in mind at the moment."
Trainer Sir Michael Stoute said of runner-up Telescope: "He was a bit greyhoundy last season and he'd really filled out over the winter. I realised a few days ago that I might need a bit more time with him, but we needed to get him out and get him going.
"I stated publicly, and told Harry (Herbert, racing manager for owners Highclere) that he would need it. I don't know (where he'll go), let's get him back home and see how he is."
Bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes
£62,500 added, 4yo plus, 1m 2f 7y, Class 1
|4 - 1
Sir Michael Stoute
|R L Moore
|5 - 2
E A L Dunlop
|9 - 1
S bin Suroor
|S De Sousa
|6 - 5
M J Attwater
|33 - 1
||Robin Hoods Bay
E F Vaughan