Two years ago Frankel (6h Galileo-Kind, by Danehill), trained by Sir Henry Cecil, won the QIPCO Champion Stakes and on Saturday it was the turn of Frankel’s brother Noble Mission (5h Galileo-Kind, by Danehill) to win the Ascot G1.
Both horses are owned and were bred by Prince Khalid Abdullah, who mated his superb mare Kind with the world’s leading stallion, Galileo, and produced two outstanding siblings.
Remarkable doubles rarely come with more poignancy, and this one followed a compelling home-straight battle between the winner and runner-up Al Kazeem, who pulled clear of their rivals. Noble Mission had made the running from the stalls, been passed by the second approaching the furlong pole, but showed an iron will to grind his way back into the lead. He won by a neck, with Free Eagle (3c High Chaparral-Polished Gem, by Danehill) a further length and a quarter back in third.
Noble Mission’s trainer Lady Cecil took over the licence at Warren Place Stables in Newmarket following the death of her husband Sir Henry in 2013 and she said after the race: “I knew that if he won it would be a fairytale and it absolutely was. James (Doyle) gave him a brilliant ride – we knew the horse was in the form of his life, but we hardly dared to dream it could happen. It’s a tough race and he absolutely toughed it out.
“He just dug deep and James gave him an incredible ride. This is so special because of what happened two years ago – I keep thinking I’m in a dream and will wake up. It has come true hasn’t it?”
Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to Prince Khalid, said: “James produced a great ride on an incredibly good, tough and classy horse. He put them to it, held them off, stuck to it and had a huge battle with Al Kazeem – to do that with that quality of field is remarkable. It’s nice to emulate your brother!
“What a happy day and the emotions of the whole thing – with Jane, and the history of Champions Day with Henry, and the brother of Frankel – it’s amazing.”
Jockey James Doyle added: “Like all the family, he has matured mentally as he has got older. He has had tough boots to fill, being Frankel’s brother. He had been in a lovely rhythm the whole way and was able to use his stride on this ground and get some of them in trouble. I know when you lead all the way people say it was a lovely ride – but if I’d just got done it would have been a bad one. Noble Mission has great resolution, and showed it.”