Chris Waller-trained Mohican Heights will attempt to put an exclamation mark on a bright first Australian campaign by earning direct entry into the Melbourne Cup by winning the US$400,000 Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (2800m) at Flemington later this week. Waller's Melbourne foreperson, Jo Taylor, reports Mohican Heights has trained on well since finishing runner-up to Amade and ahead of Ramsden rivals Persan and Constantinople in the A$135,000 William Newton VC Handicap (2600m) at Flemington on Anzac Day.
Mohican Heights is one of 10 acceptors for the Andrew Ramsden, the staying feature restricted to horses aged three to five, with Chris Waller attempting to win the race for the first time. Other contents include: Constantinople (IRE), Grand Promenade (GB), Persan, Miami Bound (NZ), Realm Of Flowers, Never Listen, Lion’s Share, Through Irish Eyes (NZ), Salto Angel (NZ). Oceanex won the race last year.
Mohican Heights was purchased by Qatar Racing and Sun Bloodstock after winning his 1408-metre 2YO maiden at Leopardstown in May 2019.
The son of Australia then made a winning start for his new ownership over the mile in a 2YO Listed race at Salisbury three months later.
Mohican Heights produced an encouraging seasonal resumption in the Gr.2 King Edward VII Stakes (2406m) during Royal Ascot 2020 but didn't perform in the Classics at Epsom or Doncaster.
He stumbled at the start and never entered the call when beaten 15 lengths by Serpentine in the Gr.1 Derby (2420m) at Epsom on July 4, before having his final start for David Simcock in the Gr.1 St Leger Stakes (2922m), finishing last, beaten 28 lengths, after racing too keenly.
Waller took over the training of Mohican Heights from the start of this year, with Sun Bloodstock owning him outright in Australia, where he was unplaced at his first two local starts at Randwick.
He was well supported in betting but was taken back from his wide gate and never figured at his local debut over 1600m on February 13.
James McDonald retained the ride for his second local run two weeks later over 2000m when he again drew wide, but this time pushed forward and battled on gamely for sixth, beaten 2.4 lengths by Yonkers.