23rd May, 2012 - Posted by Elliot Slater - Comments Off
Sir Henry Cecil enjoyed a fine weekend with the superb Frankel sauntering to his tenth successive win in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, but the recently knighted legendary trainer will have had one eye on proceedings at Newmarket where Frankel’s full-brother Noble Mission went down by a neck to Thought Worthy in the listed Fairway Stakes as he attempted to book himself a place in the starting line-up for the Investec Derby at Epsom on June 2, writes Elliot Slater.
His narrow defeat at the hands of the progressive John Gosden-trained winner was far from being a disaster as the three-year-old was giving 5lbs to his conqueror so technically comes out of the contest as the best horse in the race. The proximity however of the 98-rated Rugged Cross just three-quarters-of-a-length away in third does however put the form more or less in perspective, and leaves both Noble Mission and Thought Worthy with something of a mountain to climb if they wish to trouble the likes of Camelot, rated around 25lbs their superior and highly fancied in the Horse Racing Betting.
With the exception of the high-class Aidan O’Brien-trained 2000 Guineas winner there are few other outstanding candidates though for Epsom, (even allowing for Bonfire’s pleasing victory in the Group 2 Dante Stakes at York), so Cecil might well judge that it is worth having a cut at the big race in the hope that his charge runs above himself and can sneak into the first three. With such a superb pedigree, gaining a place in Group 1 company would make Noble Mission of great interest to breeders so the Juddmonte team under the guidance of Cecil’s long-standing patron Prince Khaled Abdullah have some serious thinking to do before making a final decision as to whether or not to let the current 33/1 shot go for gold in the premier middle-distance contest.
For more news, previews, tips, advice and comment on the Investec Derby head over to Betfair’s news Derby microsite to here: http://betting.betfair.com/horse-racing/epsom-derby-and-oaks/