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First Mission foiled by the finest of margins in G2 Clark Stakes


First Mission produced an admirable performance in defeat as he went down by a nose to Trademark in the G2 Clark Stakes at Churchill Downs, USA, on Friday, 24 November.

Winner of the G3 Lexington Stakes before an injury-interrupted summer, First Mission broke smartly and disputed the running on the inside of Film Star.

Both horses continued to vie for the lead until First Mission gained a narrow advantage with half a mile to race, only for Film Star to rally and rejoin the Brad Cox-trained colt turning in.

Having finally seen off Film Star at the top of the lane, First Mission kicked on a furlong and a half out, only for Trademark to close strongly entering the final furlong.

First Mission battled bravely for Luis Saez, drifting out in the process, with Trademark managing to establish a slender lead in the closing strides.

The Godolphin three-year-old continued to fight against his more experienced rival and almost managed to get back on terms on the line.