• Racing/
  • Noble Mission Accomplished

bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes (Group 3) 1m 2f 7y

  • (4yo+, 1m 2f 7y, Class 1, 5 runners)
  • Winner £35,444 2nd £13,438 3rd £6,725 4th £3,350 5th £1,681 6th £844
  • Going: Soft
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 2m 15.89s
  • Off time: 14:14:12
  • Last Updated: April 25 2014, 17:32 BST

Lady Cecil's Noble Mission made all under James Doyle to land the bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown on Friday.

Noble Mission goes clear to score at Sandown
Noble Mission goes clear to score at Sandown

The full-brother to Frankel was allowed an easy lead from the outset and two furlongs out it became apparant that those in behind were going to struggle to reel him in.

That proved to be the case as it went further clear up the hill, recording a nine-length victory margin over Telescope at the line.

Telescope's connections had warned beforehand that their horse might need the run and that looked to be the case as he struggled to get to grips with the winner in the soft conditions.

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, said: "We discussed it beforehand in the paddock and saying there wasn't much speed in the race, so we said we'd have to be brave.

"Physically and mentally, he's done well over the winter.

"He's been great at home and he's trained really nicely at home. 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."

The five-year-old has sometimes been charged with having a questionable attitude but this was a second Group Three of a respectable career and he was fit from an outing at Newbury, wheeas Telescope was returning from a setback which had kept him sidelined since last August.

Wining trainer 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."

Noble Mission is entered in next week's Qatar Bloodstock Jockey Club at Newmarket, while the Hardwicke at Royal Ascot would be an alternative.

Sir Michael Stoute had been thwarted in aiming Telescope for last year's Derby and while the colt is entitled to improve and conditions might not have been ideal, it was a performance which was hard to evaluate.

He said: "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 going. I stated publicly, and told Harry (Herbert, syndicate manager) that he would need it.

"I don't know (where he'll go), let's get him back home and see how he is."

The big disappointment of the race, though, was Sky Hunter, sent off a well-supported 6/5 favourite as Telescope drifted in the market. He travelled well enough in the rear but found nothing from over two furlongs out and was soon toiling.