Mission accomplished – Doncaster Cup success for Balding and Buick

Spanish Mission ran out a very impressive winner of the bet365 Doncaster Cup for Andrew Balding.

A smart performer for David Simcock last season, he has now won both his races since joining Balding.

Still only a four-year-old, the Noble Mission colt arguably had to prove his stamina over two and a quarter miles – and he clearly answered any lingering doubts.

Selino, who had finished behind Spanish Mission at Chester, kicked for home over two furlongs out, but William Buick had him in his sights on the 6-4 favourite.

On entering the final furlong Spanish Mission quickened impressively and powered away to win by three lengths.

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Sir Mark Prescott’s Revolver, who was stepping up in class having won six handicaps on the bounce, briefly threatened to take a hand in the finish before his effort petered out and he was passed for third by The Grand Visir.

Balding said: “I thought it was an excellent performance – I’m delighted to have a horse of his calibre in the yard.

“He looks like he could be a Gold Cup contender next year, which is very exciting.”

Paddy Power cut Spanish Mission to 8-1 from 12-1 for the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot on October 17.

Balding added: “That is really the only race for him if he is going to run again this year, but the ground might have gone too soft for him by then, so we’ll see.

“I’m just delighted with his performance today and thrilled to have a horse like him in the yard.”

The runners turn into the back straight in the Doncaster Cup
The runners turn into the back straight in the Doncaster Cup (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Buick said: “He was over-racing at stages, not the whole way, but just at stages. Two miles two is a long way, but he was never really doing too much.

“He was always going to come into the race easily – it was just whether he’d see it out, and he did see it out very well.

“He’s got that bit of class against these stayers, that turn of foot. That together with his stamina is a good combination.

“I’m sure all those races will be on his radar. Who knows – potentially next year, he might even make up into a Gold Cup horse.

“Connections will have a chat – and in that staying division, he’s going to be a lively contender.”

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