THERE is precious little in terms of horseflesh you can buy for $3,500, but in the case of the gelded Nobals (Noble Mission), you could have bought a Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup winner.
Bred by the renowned Dr John A Chandler, this was a case of the one that got away, and at a great financial loss.
Winner of 10 races, and runner-up three times in 18 career starts, the four-year-old Nobals has winnings now of $1.45 million, and with a long career still ahead of him, he will surely rank as one of the greatest bargain buys of all time.
At two he won more than 12 times his purchase price when netting his first stakes win, added three more stakes wins last year, including setting a new track record for six furlongs at Woodbine, while this year has seen all of Nobals’ four wins gained in stakes races, his best effort before Saturday coming when he triumphed in the Grade 2 Twin Spires Sprint Stakes at Churchill Downs.
Frankel’s own-brother Noble Mission (Galileo), winner of nine races including the Group 1 QIPCO Champion Stakes, the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup, was siring his second Grade 1 winner with the success of Nobals in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
The first was Code Of Honor, successful in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes and Jockey Club Gold Cup. Noble Mission stood at Lane’s End Farm until he was exported to Japan. He covered 128 mares in 2021, his first season in Japan, but that more than halved to 61 last year.
Nobals is the best of five runners and winners for his Empire Maker (Unbridles) dam Pearly Blue, twice a winner in the USA and placed many times. Her other winners include this year’s stakes-placed mare My First Pearl (First Samurai), while she had a colt foal this year in the first crop of the Grade 1 winner Known Agenda (Curlin), before being covered by Dialed In (Mineshaft).
This is a family with which Dr Chandler has had much success. He bred and raced Nobals’ grandam Western Ransom (Red Ransom), a Grade 3 winner for Michael Dickinson. She bred six winners at stud.
Go back to the fourth dam and you will find a pair of Grade 1 winners who were bred and raced by Chandler. Cetawayo (His Majesty) was also trained by Michael Dickinson and won two Grade 1s. Bill Mott handled the career of Dynaforce (Dynaformer), successful in both the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes and Beverly D Stakes.
Victory for Nobals came on the same card that saw Frankel sire his first Breeders’ Cup winner. Inspiral is a Cheveley Park homebred, and she won the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, a race won by Cheveley Park with Queen’s Trust seven years ago.
Inspiral will remain in training and race again at the age of five. Already a dual champion, this was her sixth win at the highest level, added to two editions of the Group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois, the Fillies’ Mile, Coronation Stakes and the Sun Chariot Stakes. She appears to be getting better with age.
Inspiral is a fourth generation product of Cheveley Park. She traces to Rose Goddess (Sassafras) who was bred at Ferrans Stud in 1979, then owned by Dr Herbert Schnapka. She did not race and ended up at Spendthrift Farm.
Rose Goddess had six foals, her first two being Group 1 winning juvenile colt Sanam (Golden Act), and South African Group 2 winner and Group 1 placed colt Shaybani (Al Nasr).
Her fifth and sixth foals were bred by Cheveley Park, her final produce being Mystic Goddess (Storm Bird). She won twice, including a listed race, and at stud she bred five winners, the best of which was Medicean (Machiavellian). He won the Group 1 Eclipse Stakes and Lockinge Stakes, and went to stud at Cheveley Park, where his winners included Dutch Art who joined him there.
Another of Mystic Goddess’ daughters was the three-year-old winner Moon Goddess (Rainbow Quest), responsible for six winners, notably the stakes winner Solar Magic (Pivotal) and juvenile winner Starscope (Selkirk).
The latter won one of her eight starts, but her placed efforts included being second in the Group 1 1000 Guineas, and runner-up in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes. She has produced four winners with her first four foals, notably Inspiral.