Winning debutant Mohawk is King for Hannon

Marlborough trainer mops up again in Ascot maiden.

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Mohawk King continued Richard Hannon’s excellent recent record in the Anders Foundation British EBF Crocker Bulteel Maiden Stakes at Ascot.

The Marlborough maestro had claimed four of the last five renewals of the six-furlong contest – and this year fired a twin assault, with newcomer Mohawk King joined by his once-raced stablemate Shanghai Rock.

Three juveniles were still in with a chance entering the last half-furlong, and it was 6-1 shot Mohawk King who finished strongest under Pat Dobbs to prevail by a head from Churchill Bay – with Mayaas just a neck further away in third.

Hannon said: “He came in from the breeze-ups and he wasn’t a runaway or anything like that. He missed the gate by design today, because we didn’t want him to pull too hard, and I was pleased with the way he came through horses.

“We trained the mare (Marsh Hawk), and she was very good. He is a lovely horse, and we think a bit of him.

“We will speak to Sheikh Isa (Salman Al Khalifa, owner) and see what he thinks. He is up to Group level, so it is a case of whether we go there now or find something on the way there.

“He will get further, and the Acomb Stakes at York next month might be a possibility.”

Dobbs later received a three-day suspension for careless riding.

The same combination was denied a double in the following Betfred Supports Jack Berry House British EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes, with the impeccably-bred Snow Lantern having to make do with the runner-up spot behind Zabeel Queen.

Snow Lantern is a daughter of Frankel out of Hannon’s multiple Group One-winning filly Sky Lantern – and there was much to like about the way she came home to pick up minor honours.

Zabeel Queen was a 5-1 shot to make a winning debut for Roger Varian and Andrea Atzeni, and displayed a smart change of gear to prevail by just over a length.

“She is one of the nicer ones and has shown up well at home. She has a beautiful pedigree that goes back to Dubawi,” said Varian.

“I’d be surprised if the race doesn’t work out. There were some nice types in the paddock and nice types on show. It is a nice start.

“She has got options. She could go back into novice company or into a Stakes race. Maybe the race at Doncaster (May Hill) is nice, but that is six weeks away. I will speak with the owner (Sheikh Obaid), make sure she is okay afterwards and go from there.”

Varian and Atzeni doubled up with 7-1 shot Look Closely in the betfred.com Handicap, before the Italian rider completed a treble aboard Simon and Ed Crisford’s Star Cactus in the Frimley NHS Foundation Ascot Volunteer Drivers Nursery Handicap.

Tsar blew his rivals away in the Betfred “Nifty Fifty” Handicap for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori – little more than half an hour before Enable carried the same colours of Khalid Abdullah to an historic third win in the King George for the Clarehaven team.

A ready winner at Yarmouth three weeks ago, 9-4 favourite Tsar was even more impressive in landing this prize by a length and a half.

Dettori said: “He likes a bit of cover, and from the wing I had to miss the break. If I’m honest I didn’t give the best of rides. He had a mountain to climb, but he took me into the race with ease, and it was a very good effort.”

Andrew Balding’s Table Mountain (9-2) landed the concluding John Guest Racing Brown Jack Handicap, with Raul Da Silva the winning rider.

Winning debutant Mohawk is King for Hannon
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