Noble on Champion Mission
Published 02/09/2014 | 16:52
Noble Mission is set to be at the forefront of a strong British representation in the €1 million Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on September 13.
The five-year-old full brother to Frankel tasted Group One glory in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh in May and crosses the Irish Sea on the back of near misses in France and Germany.
"The ground isn't vital for him and it is not that he doesn't handle good or faster ground, it is just that he handles soft ground better than others," said owner Khalid Abdullah's racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe.
"He did his first bit of work back last Friday after he ran in Germany and he looks in very good form. We are going to aim him at Leopardstown and I think a mile and a quarter is his best trip and the intention is to run."
Trained by Lady Cecil, Noble Mission could be joined by Amralah, Western Hymn and possibly by last year's runner-up Al Kazeem.
The improving Amralah will represent trainer Mick Channon and he said of the recent Haydock winner: "We have been aiming him at the Irish Champion Stakes and I don't know whether we have frightened off Australia yet, but the plan since he won at Haydock has been to run him at Leopardstown.
"He seems to handle most types of ground, but he wouldn't want it heavy. I have always thought he was a fair horse, but on his first run this year he just disappointed me a bit - he appeared not to get the trip that day.
"Since we have got him back to a mile and a quarter he hasn't stopped going forward."
Western Hymn was added to the field at the second entry stage and a spokesman for trainer John Gosden said: "He was unsuited by the heavy ground at Deauville the last time and before that he won his Group Two well at Maisons-Laffitte.
"He was supplemented at the second entry stage and the plan is to run him."
Al Kazeem only recently returned to the racecourse following a failed brief stud career, but showed he retains plenty of ability when landing the Group Three Winter Hill Stakes at Windsor.
"He is in very good order and I am very happy with him," said his trainer Roger Charlton.
"He came out of his last race extremely well. We are just weighing up the options as to whether we go to Ireland or whether we go to France."
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