James Doyle has spoken enthusiastically about the chances of Noble Mission in Saturday’s QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot.
With the five-year-old — who is trained in Newmarket by Lady Cecil — set to have his favoured soft ground conditions in the mile-and-a-quarter Group One contest, his 26-year-old rider believes he has strong claims of winning the race his full brother Frankel claimed back in 2012.
“Although I don’t ride Noble Mission in any of his work I know that Martyn Peake who rides him out has been very happy with him,” said Doyle. “He was taken down to Kempton last week and he did a solid piece of work which everyone was happy with and he seems in great order.
“I think a mile and a quarter is ideal for him as a mile and a half just stretches him.
“The track should suit him and the ground will be in his favour and I don’t see why he won’t put up a bold show.”
After a season of near misses in 2013, with just one win gained in a five-runner Listed event at Goodwood, the son of Galileo has proven to be a different proposition this time round.
Since winning the Group Three bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown back in April, the Khalid Abdullah-owned horse, has gone on to taste victory at the highest level after winning the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh a month later.
“It is probably a combination of a lot of things that have helped him and Lady Jane and the team at Warren Place have done a tremendous job with him,” said Doyle. “He seems a different horse for making the running and committing him sooner in his races.”
Although a number of the leading protagonists have defected from the contest largely due to the forecast soft ground, the Newmarket-based jockey has singled out the one horse he feels possesses the chief threat to curtailing his chances of glory.
“Cirrus Des Aigles will be a tough horse to beat,” said Doyle. “He has got solid form in the book and he relishes the soft ground, but I could not be more happier with my ride.”
Prior to action taking place at Ascot, Newmarket will stage the inaugural Dubai Future Champions Day tomorrow.
The card, which starts at 1.50pm, will feature three Group One contests including the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes.
n Earlier this week both Taghrooda and Mukhadram, who were trained in town by John Gosden and William Haggas respectively were retired by owner Hamdan Al Maktoum.
On Tuesday, 2012 Ladbrokes St Leger winner Encke — trained in Newmarket by Charlie Appleby — was put down after sustaining a leg injury in a routine gallop.