Vintage performance from Dark Vision at Goodwood

Johnston colt powers home to earn 2000 Guineas quotes

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Dark Vision maintained his unbeaten record with a thoroughly impressive display in the Qatar Vintage Stakes at Goodwood.

Following previous victories this month at Yarmouth and York, Mark Johnston’s youngster was a heavily-backed 100-30 favourite stepped up to Group Two level in the hands of Silvestre de Sousa.

It looked as though the gamble had gone badly awry rounding the home turn, with Dark Vision being niggled along by the champion jockey at the very rear of the field.

However, once switched wide into clear daylight, Johnston’s challenger gradually found his stride and finished like a train, getting up to beat Dunkerron by a length and three-quarters.

Johnston said: “That was quite incredible. I can hardly believe it myself.

“I was trying to keep everybody’s feet on the ground today. The partnership (Kingsley Park 10) had a winner at Ascot on Saturday with a horse that cost £6,000 (Victory Command) and this one cost two and a half times as much at £15,000.

“I never really thought when I set him off at Yarmouth that he’d be coming to a Group Two race and when he missed the break I thought it was all over. I was thinking I’d have to go home and teach this horse to come out of the stalls.

“At that stage, if he’d come fourth I’d have thought I’ve got a really nice horse my hands. I never thought until a furlong out that we had any chance of winning.”

Betfair initially went 33-1 about Dark Vision for next year’s Qipco 2000 Guineas, before cutting him to 20-1, the same price as RaceBets.

On immediate plans, Johnston said: “I haven’t thought beyond today.”

Alan King, trainer of the runner-up Dunkerron, said: “That was a great run. What a great little horse.

“Just inside the furlong I thought we might get swallowed up completely. He kept on running and I’m thrilled with him.

“We got a bit excited for a moment there. It looked like he wanted that last time (seven furlongs). I don’t think he would want any further.

“He really picked up. He is a proper horse in a proper race.”

Martyn Meade’s Confiding was another length and a quarter away in third.

Meade said: “I’m thrilled to bits. It was his second run and he was a green as could be.

“This track wasn’t maybe quite the right thing for him today, with him having a bend to go round and come down the hill, but I thought he committed himself to it very well.

“He couldn’t have done better apart from winning.”

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