Double delight for Mark Johnston at Goodwood

Good run continues for Middleham trainer

  • Thursday 02 August
  • News
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Mark Johnston made it three winners for the week as Accordance and Communique both obliged on day three of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

The Middleham handler enjoyed a high-profile success with Dark Vision in the Vintage Stakes on Tuesday and Accordance looked another nice juvenile prospect in running out a clear-cut winner of the Goodwood Markel Insurance British EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.

Second on her debut at Doncaster last month, Accordance (9-2) put that experience to good use when kicking three-quarters of a length clear of Rux Power in the seven-furlong contest.

The trainer’s son and assistant, Charlie, said: “She is a lovely filly. She had not really come on our radar at all six weeks to two months ago. She has really improved the last four weeks.

“As soon as she crossed the line in that race at Doncaster, I thought she was the perfect filly for the seven-furlong maiden here.

“It is not impossible to think she might come back here for the Prestige Stakes. We will look for some black type for her.”

Communique (7-2 favourite) had got the team off to a good start, sticking to his task gamely to triumph by a length and a half in the Matchbook Best Value Exchange Handicap.

Winner of the London Gold Cup at Newbury in May, he subsequently disappointed at Royal Ascot before bouncing back with victory at Newmarket and adding another success here in the hands of Silvestre de Sousa.

Johnston senior said: “After Newbury we thought we would be moving on to even bigger things, but he had a couple of slightly disappointing runs, particularly at Ascot.

“Things didn’t go his way there, but things have gone his way today and you have seen what he did and that was great.

“He has not had a gallop at home since before the season started.

“He is fairly happy at this trip. I suppose it is not impossible he might have a look at going further, but nothing is set in stone. I’m not ruling it out if there was a good opportunity.

“We will see what the handicapper does on Tuesday and take it from there and we will put him where he is best in.”

More Than This maintained his unbeaten record with an excellent Paul Hanagan ride in the Telegraph Nursery Handicap.

With a field of 19 in the seven-furlong heat, Hanagan was alive to the need for a good position and duly managed to manoeuvre to the head of affairs after a sharp start.

Indian Viceroy tried to serve it up to the 4-1 joint-favourite, but ultimately Richard Fahey’s runner was a length and a half too good in a race that was claimed 12 months ago by this year’s 1000 Guineas winner Billesdon Brook.

Fahey said: “He is a progressing and is a nice horse. That would be great if he could do that (win the Guineas), but I think he is a bit off that.

“He is rated 88 and is a big baby. It’s a good growing-up period for him and that race will help him learn a bit. He is a great-minded horse and we are happy.

“There is no race at York and he won too early for the Acomb, as he would be a nice horse to run in something like that.

“We knew he would stay and we were quite keen to be positive. When you feel you have the best horse in the race, the best place is to be in front. This is his bare minimum trip, I’d say.”

Lord Riddiford (6-1) made all to land the closing Tatler Handicap and bring up his hat-trick in the process.

Double delight for Mark Johnston at Goodwood
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