Noble Mission Thriving In Third Year At Stud

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Noble Mission at Lane’s End | Matt Goins

By Kelsey Riley

The imminent beginning of the flat season in Europe means the first crop of Frankel (GB) will soon get its chance at Classic success. Those first 2-year-olds by the peerless unbeaten champion could hardly have made a better first impression, and not only in Europe; he notched a Group 1 winner in Japan in the form of Classic hopeful Soul Stirring (Jpn), and he also has ‘TDN Rising Star’ and Group 3 winner Mi Suerte (Jpn) going for him in the same country.

All this bodes well for Frankel’s year-younger full-brother Noble Mission (GB) who, across the Atlantic in Kentucky, is standing his third season at Lane’s End Farm.

“We’re very encouraged by Frankel’s start over in Europe and how well he’s started out with his first-crop 2-year-olds,” said Lane’s End’s Bill Farish. “I don’t think it surprises anyone that he would start off well, but a lot of times when horses start in that kind of stud fee range and with those kinds of expectations it’s hard to live up to them, and he’s certainly done that. That bodes well for Noble Mission, being a full-brother.”

Farish noted that those same expectations placed on Frankel have almost become a burden for Noble Mission as well. While he is best known as ‘Frankel’s little brother,’ Noble Mission’s qualifications stand on their own. A Group 3 winner at three and a listed winner at four, Noble Mission blossomed as a 5-year-old for trainer Lady Jane Cecil, winning five of seven starts and three Group 1s–the Tattersalls Gold Cup, Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and Qipco Champion S. He was named Cartier Champion Older Male of 2014 around the same time a deal was done to stand the horse at Lane’s End, with breeder Juddmonte remaining in the ownership syndicate.

“It almost becomes a bit of a negative being Frankel’s brother because he’s overshadowed by him, but I think it was a very good move to stand him over here because American breeders have been incredibly supportive of him,” said Farish. “It’s gratifying to see that. There are 148 individual breeders that have supported him in only three seasons. He’s had very widespread support.”

In addition to Juddmonte and Lane’s End, those breeders include Shel Evans, Flaxman Holdings, Richard Santulli, Courtlandt Farms, Dell Ridge Farm, Dixiana Farm, W.S. Kilroy, Earle Mack, G. Watts Humphrey, Green Lantern Stable, KatieRich Farms, Mt Brilliant Farm, Nursery Place, Zayat Stables and Vegso Racing Stable. Noble Mission’s fee has remained at $25,000 through his first three seasons. He covered 146 mares in his first year in 2015, including 19 graded stakes performers, 29 siblings to Grade I winners and 63 siblings to graded winners.

Things didn’t go quite as smoothly for Noble Mission last year, however; the bay suffered a colic attack that saw his book reduced to just 65 mares. Farish explained, “He colicked about a month into the breeding season and it knocked him out of action for two crucial months. As a result he only had a book of 65 mares. He was only able to breed very early ones and very late ones. It really had an effect after having a good book of 146 mares in his first year. He’ll only have 65 in that second year so this year was very important, and luckily the breeders have been very supportive.”

Noble Mission has been in good health since his scare early last year, and his 2017 book currently sits at “well north of 100″ mares.

“It was going to be crucial that we get another really good book to him this year,” Farish added. “He’s going to be well north of 100 mares and that’s great to see in the third year when you’re holding the stud fee steady for the first three years like he has.”

With a strong syndicate behind him Noble Mission has enjoyed the support of some well-credentialed mares. Those include GII Honeymoon S. winner Sarah’s Secret (Leroidesanimaux {Brz}); GIII Matchmaker S. winner Casual Smile (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), a daughter of G1 Epsom Oaks winner Casual Look (Red Ransom); G3 Atalanta S. winner Waterhole (Ire) (Oasis Dream {GB}); GIII Thoroughbred Club of America S. winner and stakes producer Reunited (Dixie Union); three-time graded winner Ender’s Sister (A.P. Indy), the dam of dual Grade I winner A.P. Indian (Indian Charlie) and GII Indiana Derby winner Tiz Shea D (Tiznow); Trappings (Seeking The Gold), the dam of champion She Be Wild (Offlee Wild); and Gateway (A.P. Indy), the last daughter of Juddmonte’s blue hen producer Toussaud (El Gran Senor) and therefore a half-sister to Empire Maker (Unbridled).

Noble Mission was America’s second-leading first-crop sire at last year’s foal sales behind only Will Take Charge (Unbridled’s Song). He had 11 sell of 16 offered for an average of $76,181 and a median of $60,000.

“He did very well, he had a very good year at the foal sales,” said Farish. “His highest price was $210,000. We have 10 yearlings here at the farm by him that we’re very excited about. I think he’ll have a very good year at the yearling sales.”

“He really does stamp them,” Farish added. “He’s a very good- looking horse and he’s putting a little chrome on them, like he has. They’re very flashy, attractive individuals with predictably very good walks.”

If Noble Mission can keep the family tradition alive, his progeny should have no problem excelling in the years to come.

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