Mildenberger made his fitness count as he landed an overdue success in the Betway Conditions Stakes at Lingfield.
Cherry-ripe after three runs in the last eight weeks, the Mark Johnston-trained five-year-old took control in the straight in the hands of Franny Norton to strike for the first time since April 2018.
However, his stablemate King’s Advice needed the outing on his first start since September and had to settle for minor honours.
Irish raider Oriental Eagle made the running from the Johnston pair with Original Choice last of the four. There was no change in the order until just before the home turn, where Franny Norton brought Mildenberger alongside the leader to make his challenge.
Mildenberger (9-4) kicked on and soon put the race to bed to score by five and a half lengths from Original Choice and enhance his claims for the Betway Marathon Championship on All-Weather Finals Day in April.
King’s Advice could still go to Saudi Arabia for their big meting on February 29 despite finishing third. He got going too late to make an impression while Oriential Eagle was last of the four.
Charlie Johnston, assistant to his father, told Sky Sports Racing: “Mildenberger, the race-fit horse, the horse that’s having a trial round here for Finals Day, has run a really good race and as for King’s Advice, who we knew would come on for it a lot, he has run fine.
“Joe (Fanning) hasn’t been too hard on him and if he gets into Saudi, then he has aided his preparation for that, so it’s a good result all round.
“For those of the public who were watching King’s Advice here a year ago off a mark of 71, he’s been a phenomenal horse and one we’re hugely proud of.
“He had a fantastic year last year and life is going to be tougher for him this year. He’s going to be campaigning in a different calibre of race, but his attitude is going to stand him in good stead and he’ll have a good year himself, I’m sure.”
Johnston was denied a double when Sky Defender was headed close home as El Ghazwani (9-4) recorded a fifth course win in the Betway Handicap.
Jack Mitchell brought Hugo Palmer’s five-year-old with a strong run to get the verdict by three-quarters of a length and give owner Hamad Rashad Bin Ghedayer the first and second.