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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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First leads November contendersHeadlines
First Mohican

Ante-post favourite First Mohican heads a maximum field of 23 for the Betfred November Handicap at Doncaster on Saturday.

The Sir Henry Cecil-trained four-year-old puts his unbeaten record on the line in the feature race on the final day of the Flat turf season. Once considered a Derby prospect after winning his only start as a juvenile in October 2010, the Tobougg gelding was then sidelined for almost two years until returning last month with wins at Redcar and Nottingham.

The weights are headed on 9st 10lb by Retrieve, one of three Godolphin-owned horses from Saeed bin Suroor's stable. Songcraft and Darley Sun complete their trio.

All the leading fancies have been declared, among them Nicholascopernicus, Blue Surf, Communicator and Kirthill.

Of the original top 23 in the handicap, only Licence To Till, Noble Alan and Cubanita were withdrawn at the final declaration stage. Their absence has allowed Party Line, Hanoverian Baron and Bollin Greta to make the field.

Ed Walker is looking forward to a big run from Nicholascopernicus, who staked his claim with an emphatic victory at Goodwood four weeks ago.

"We're really happy with him. He's in good nick and he's come out of his Goodwood win well," the Newmarket trainer told At The Races.

"He's never been a flashy worker. He just does what he has to do and he had a gentle spin on Tuesday morning and we're very happy with him. I don't think the ground is going to be as testing as probably hoped.

"They are calling it good, good to soft in places. There's a little bit of rain forecast on Friday. I think it's down to two millimetres forecast which won't even touch the sides. He'll be fine on it. He just doesn't want any firm in the going description, which we won't get. He just seems to cope with really testing conditions better than others."

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