Freddie Mitchell: struck on his first-ever ride in Qatar on TuesdayPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Freddie Mitchell to the fore in Fegentri series
Qatar: Freddie Mitchell took the lead for Britain in the season-long Fegentri men's amateur riders' world championship by winning a 7f conditions race on Majd Al Shajaa, his first ride in Qatar, on Tuesday.
Twice successful now from three rides in the series, his latest win in 25-degree heat could hardly have been achieved in more contrasting circumstances to the first, which came on ice and snow in St Moritz.
An uninspiring set of recent form figures offered Mitchell little pre-race confidence on Tuesday, but the five-year-old stayed on stoutly in the straight after being taken off his feet in the early stages, and leading a furlong out, he held off Germany's Dennis Schiergen on Honest Prospector by half a length.
Mitchell said: "I was flat to the boards from the jump-off and got trapped on the rail. I knew there was no way through, so I switched him to the outside and he surprised me by picking up the leaders.
Mitchell can look forward to many more first experiences on racecourses around the world, as he attempts to follow the example of last year's Fegentri champion, Irishman Steve Crawford.
"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "It's like a gap year without going to school."