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Noble Mission: Emerging from the Shadow of Frankel

Noble Mission has been making headlines as the sire of recent Travers Stakes winner Code of Honor. His recent success as a sire has brought back those memories of his power on the racetrack.

Early Life (2009-2010)

In 2007, Juddmonte Farms bred their listed-stakes winning mare Kind to Galileo. They were so impressed with the looks of the subsequent foal that they bred the mare back to Galileo the following year. Those two breedings would produce the great Frankel (2008) and his little brother Noble Mission (2009).

The 2009 foal was gorgeous. His sleek, bay coat was decorated with white. Juddmonte decided to keep their foal and when he was old enough, they sent him to trainers Henry and Lady Cecil.

Two-Year Old Season (2011)

Noble Mission made his racing debut on October 25, 2011 at Great Yarmouth Racecourse. By this time, Noble Mission’s full-brother Frankel had already won four Gr.1 races. Hopes were high for Noble Mission to be as successful as his older brother. Noble Mission finished second in his debut, five lengths behind the winner.

It would be the colt’s only race as a two-year old.

Three-Year Old Season (2012)

Noble Mission returned to the racetrack on April 21st for a Maiden race at Newbury. He was the heavy favorite and proved it to be for a good reason by dominating the field. He made his first start in stakes company in the Newmarket Stakes just a few weeks later, winning by a neck.

He ran again two weeks later in the Fairway Stakes, finishing second by only a neck. He then shipped to the prestigious Royal Ascot for the Gr.2 King Edward VII Stakes. He ran his heart out, but finished a half-length behind his stablemate Thomas Chippendale.

That made for two tough losses in a row for Noble Mission and he was ready to rebound. He was entered in the Gr.3 Gordon Stakes at Goodwood and put on a thrilling performance to win the race by a nose.

Noble Mission’s next race, the Gr.2 Great Voltigeur Stakes, ended in a fourth-place finish. It would be the start of a long losing streak that had driven many to disappointment. While Frankel was finishing up his career still undefeated while running at the highest level of the sport, Noble Mission finished his three-year old season with a second in the Gr.2 St. Simon Stakes.

Four-Year Old Season (2013)

Noble Mission’s four-year old season started as tough as his three-year old season ended. He finished third in the Gr.3 John Porter Stakes in April and then a fourth in the Gr.2 Jockey Club Stakes.

The colt finally returned to the winners’ circle in May. He was dropped down from group company into listed stakes company for the Tapster Stakes at Goodwood, which he took by four lengths.

Noble Mission was taken back to Ascot for the Gr.2 Hardwicke Stakes, where he finished fourth. He then ran third in the Gr.3 Betfred Rose of Lancaster Stakes and fourth in the Gr.2 Qatar Prix Dollar.

Five-Year Old Season (2014)

2013 had been a hard year for Noble Mission. He had won just one race, failing at any level higher than the listed stakes level. Still, his connections refused to give up on him. He was a quality horse - he just stood in the shadow of his champion older brother.

He was entered in the Gr.3 John Porter Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes, in which he finished second. Something must have clicked after that loss. Thirteen days later, Noble Mission soared home to a nine length victory in the Gordon Richard Stakes.

The colt then took the Gr.3 Huxley Stakes by 2 ¼ lengths and followed that victory with a 1 ¼ length win in the Gr.1 Tattersalls Gold Cup. It was his first Gr.1 win.

Noble Mission’s next victory was a bit of a controversial one. The colt actually finished second by a head in the Gr.1 Grand Prix de Saint Cloud, but the winner tested positive for a banned drug and Noble Mission was named victorious.

The following month, Noble Mission finished second in the Gr.1 Grosser Dallmayr-Preis - Bayerisches Zuchtrennen by a half-length.

Noble Mission made the final start of his career on October 18, 2014 in the Gr.1 QIPCO Champion Stakes. It was the same race in which Frankel finished out his undefeated career. Noble Mission ran his heart out to win the race by a neck.

[Video: Noble Mission's thrilling performance in the final race of his career]

Retirement and Stud (2015-)

Noble Mission ended his racing career with a record of 21:9-6-2 and over $2.2 million in earnings. Because his full-brother was already standing at stud in Europe, Noble Mission’s owner decided it would be best to send him elsewhere for stud.

Lane’s End Farm purchased the colt and shipped him to Kentucky. Noble Mission now resides at the beautiful farm, giving American mares access to the same bloodlines as Frankel. He has been successful so far. His best son, Code of Honor, recently dominated the Gr.1 Travers Stakes.

Things are looking swell for Noble Mission as a sire. Time will tell how great he will be.

[Video: Lane's End Farm on Noble Mission's career and stud potential]


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