Noble Mission wins Champions Stakes, matches feat of brother Frankel
Noble Mission matched the achievement of his illustrious brother Frankel by winning the Champions Stakes, the feature race of the British Champions Day at Ascot that marked the end of the European flat-racing season on Saturday.
The 7-1 shot, with James Doyle onboard, held off outsider Al Kazeem in a gripping finish to edge to victory in a race Frankel won in 2012 to complete his unbeaten career of 14 straight wins.
”I knew that if he won, it would be a fairytale and it absolutely was,” said Nobel Mission’s trainer Lady Cecil, whose late husband – Sir Henry Cecil – trained Frankel.
The French-trained Cirrus Des Aigles – the 2011 winner who was beaten into second by Frankel two years ago – was the 13-8 favorite but was never in serious contention and placed fifth.
”He had a good run but unfortunately I didn’t have any power when I came into the straight today,” said Cirrus Des Aigles jockey Christophe Soumillon.
Estimate, owned by Queen Elizabeth II, trailed in last in the Long Distance Cup on the same course on which she won the Gold Cup last year. It was the final race of Estimate’s career.
”She is now off to stud,” said John Warren, the queen’s racing manager. ”You cannot take the good things away. I think Estimate gave the Queen the biggest thrill she probably ever had.”