Johnston prepares winner Steeler for a crack at Doncaster meeting (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Johnston prepares winner Steeler for a crack at Doncaster meeting
4:21pm Friday 5th October 2012 in Sport
MARK JOHNSTON is looking forward to a tilt at the Racing Post Trophy with Steeler following his Royal Lodge Stakes triumph last Saturday at Newmarket.
The son of Raven’s Pass appeared to relish the step up to a mile when recording his third win from five starts at Newmarket and Johnston is now ready to step his youngster up to Group One level at Doncaster.
The Middleham maestro also believes his charge will be an even better horse with another winter under his belt.
Johnston told At The Races: “He’s quite an immature horse and he’s going to get better with age. He’s very laid back in his races though and just lobs along and Kieren has a lot of faith in him.
“I thought he travelled well throughout the race and it was looking like he was going to be drawn into a battle. I couldn’t say I was confident he was going to win until maybe the last 100 yards or so, when he seemed to find another gear again and pull away.
“The plan is the Racing Post Trophy.”
It’s what’s been a fine year for Johnston, quality and quantity, and Johnston made it 199 for the season with Ukrainian, who ran out a very easy winner of the staying handicap, at Musselburgh on Sunday.
Staying at Musselburgh, Alan Swinbank enjoyed a fine day saddling a fine double courtesy do Dr Phibes and Dark Ruler, both were well ridden by Robert Winston.
A very quiet start to the week but that didn’t stop Mark Johnston sending Danube River down to Bath, a race she made all the running in to win under Silvestre de Sousa and giving the Middleham trainer his 200 success of the season.
With all the rain we’ve had recently the ground was very testing at Newcastle on Wednesday, but the eight race card produced some cracking finishes.
Elaine Burke was on the mark in the seven furlong maiden with Krupskaya under Michael O’connell and afterwards the trainer’s husband Karl said: “It’s taken a while for the penny to drop, but Krupskaya doesn’t mind this ground and the step up to 7f has suited her. She was idling a bit in front, but she did is nicely and, as she’s French-bred, she will probably go back to France and run there next time.”
Local trainer Tracey Waggott had a fine double on the day, starting off with Pivotal Prospect who landlines the files handicap after making all the running before Mission Impossible took the concluding sprint handicap under Patrick Mathers.
Tomorrow is Redcar’s big day of the year and what a day it promise to be with The totepool.com Two- Year-Old Trophy – one of the most valuable races in Europe for juveniles – taking centre stage on a quality seven-race programme which is due under way at 2:05pm.
First held in 1989, the prestigious totepool Twoyear- Old Trophy offers guaranteed prize money of £150,000 and it’s no surprise to see a quality lineup including Royal Ascot winner Hototo who takes his chance for Kevin Ryan and daughter Amy who has a great chance of lifting this year’s Apprentice Championship.