It was lovely to spend time with some of the owners (see photo) involved with the Racing Partnerships at Lady Jane Cecil’s Warren Place Stables where we caught a glimpse of the hero of British Champions Day at Ascot, Noble Mission.
That battle between Frankel’s brother and Al Kazeem will live long in the memory and emotions were certainly running high before and after the race.
I was lucky enough to be working for Channel 4 that day and had been given the task of getting a pre-race interview with Lady Jane who notoriously objects to any chat before any of her horses run.
Luckily for me, one of my very best friends is currently in a relationship with Lady Jane’s sister and I thought it would be a smart move for me to utilise his influence to coerce her into speaking to me before the Champion Stakes. However it almost backfired as she seemed even more determined to avoid me and my mic - who wouldn’t, I hear you ask!
But just as I had given up hope, Lady Jane walked over to me and amazingly said she had changed her mind. As we waited for the cue to go ‘live’ I noticed how nervous and emotional she appeared and I tried to help by reassuring her it would all be fine.
It was at this point she looked me directly in the eyes and said ‘I feel bad for doing this because Henry never did and I’m not sure he would want me to.’ I felt terrible. I felt emotional and I felt awkward. But goodness knows what poor Lady Jane was going through at that moment.
It was too late to back out and she carried herself superbly through the interview. My last question to her was ‘What would victory with Frankel’s brother mean to her on this day and in this race?’ She said simply and with charming understatement, ‘It would be a fairy tale.’
That, in a nutshell, is what we got.
Nothing on the same scale is on the horizon over the coming days, but I am looking forward to the final Group 1 in Britain on Saturday, the Racing Post Trophy, primarily because I think Elm Park will take some stopping and I have backed him already.
I was at Salisbury when he won the Stonehenge Stakes and he seemed green despite winning comfortably and I believe it he was still learning when winning the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket where it was only late on that he stamped his authority on the race.
I am expecting an even better performance at Doncaster and I think it’ll take something very special to stop him.