Dream result for Herrington
Doc Sportello secured a narrow success in the £20,000 Betway Conditions Stakes at Newcastle and a guaranteed place in the line-up on All-Weather Finals Day at Lingfield on Good Friday.
Robert Winston: Struck aboard Doc Sportello for Michael Herrington.
The five-furlong contest attracted nine runners, with the David Evans-trained Gracious John the 5/4 favourite.
Irish raider Chiclet was the pacesetter, with Gracious John never too far off the speed.
As Chiclet weakened, Gracious John looked well placed to collect, but he was unable to find a change of gear and proved ultimately disappointing.
The patiently -idden pair of Justice Good and Doc Sportello began to make inroads inside the final furlong, with Justice Good produced to challenge against the stands' side while Doc Sportello was switched round horses on the other side of the track.
Doc Sportello hit the front first, but Shane Kelly looked to have timed it just right aboard Justice Good and briefly looked to nose ahead.
However, Michael Herrington's 8/1 winner dug deep for Robert Winston and pipped his rival by a short head. Dougan beat Gracious John to third place.
"I purposely took him out of the race because he can get racing with you a bit too much," Winston told At The Races.
"He switched off beautiful once I took him a couple of lengths behind and then landed in front too soon, but once he saw the other horse he produced the goods. He's a lightly-raced horse and was a nice buy for the connections."
Herrington said: "I can't tell you much as I was at the start to put him in the stalls!
"He has a history of being a bit naughty in the stalls. When Eddie Lynam had him in Ireland he had a bit of trouble I think.
"Then when he ran at Chester in September he laid down under the stalls, so Adam West (previous trainer) spent loads of time sorting him out and got him to win a claimer here.
"Fortunately for me he was a good claim (£10,000). It's unbelievable. We thought he'd run well and he's got an engine. It's only his sixth run and he can only get better if we can keep his mind right."