A smart piece of riding by Hollie Doyle helped 9/2 chance First Mohican win the two-mile Betway Conditions Race on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on Saturday, March 25, a Fast-Track Qualifier for the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Marathon over the same course and distance on Good Friday (April 14).
Doyle always had the nine-year-old stayer on the inner, holding him up in fourth of the five runners before improving to third by half-way.
Turning into the straight, she nipped up the inner as the other runners swung wide and took the lead.
First Mohican, trained by Alan King in Wiltshire, ran on well and beat the 5/2 second favourite Isharah (Mark Johnston/Joe Fanning) by a length and three quarters in 3m 21.20s. The 11/8 market leader Winterlude (Jennie Candlish/Paul Hanagan) was held up in fifth and could not improve from that position.
Henry Ponsonby, one of whose syndicates owns the winner, declared: “This victory was not unexpected as First Mohican ran wide when third to Winterlude at Kempton on his previous start, losing more ground than he was beaten by.
“Hollie Doyle was brilliant today, keeping him to the inner all the time. First Mohican can hang right but he did not today and so it was a very good performance from the jockey.
“She will ride First Mohican again in the final, which has always been our target. He ran fourth in the final last year and I hope he can do better this time.
“We love First Mohican and Hollie gets on well with him.”
This race was the final Fast-Track Qualifier during the 2016/17 All-Weather Championships, with the £1-million Finals Day at Lingfield Park on Good Friday approaching.