Noble Mission (3c Galileo-Kind, by Danehill), a brother to the mighty Frankel, landed the G3 Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on Tuesday.
Owned and bred like Frankel by Prince Khalid Abdulla, and similarly trained and ridden by Sir Henry Cecil and Tom Queally, Noble Mission could now try and give the family another Classic success in the G1 St Leger.
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, 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 G2 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.”
Queally added: “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.” Meanwhile, the unbeaten Frankel, officially the world’s best racehorse, is long odds on for Wednesday’s G1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.