Visinari taking 'step into unknown' in July Stakes

Johnston juvenile widely-touted after winning debut

  • Wednesday 10 July
  • News
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Visinari’s connections are keen to play down the hype surrounding their exciting colt before his appearance in the Tattersalls July Stakes.

Mark Johnston’s juvenile created a huge impression when making a successful racecourse debut at Newmarket a month ago – making every yard of the running in a fast time to leave the experts purring.

He will return to the July Course for Thursday’s six-furlong Group Two, and is set to go off a red-hot favourite to see off seven rivals, but Johnston’s son and assistant Charlie is taking nothing for granted.

He said: “I think it’s probably a little bit unfair on the horse that he’s as short a price as he is, to be honest. I don’t see him as an 11-10 shot, or whatever he is, but I hope they (bookmakers) are right!

“He’s only a once-raced maiden winner at the end of the day, but obviously there’s a lot of talk about him because a man with a stopwatch says he’s something out of the ordinary. He was certainly very impressive, but this is a big step up in class – and it is a step into the unknown.

“We did look at the Superlative Stakes as well, but I think it makes sense to go back to the same course and distance that he won over on debut, rather than trying to do something different.

“Win, lose or draw, I’m sure he’ll be stepping up to seven furlongs on his next start.”

The standard is set by the Archie Watson-trained Guildsman, who was beaten just three-quarters of a length into third place in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.

“He is a very nice horse and he ran a very good race in the Coventry. This was the next logical step with him,” said Watson.

“I’ve been very happy with him since Ascot. Running at Ascot came only 11 days after his debut, but we did expect a big run.

“I think the first three in the Coventry are very nice horses. I think the track will suit, and his running style suggests he will get seven furlongs in time, but that is something we won’t do now.

“He has already shown a high level of form and he is very laid-back. Everything should suit him.”

Strong Royal Ascot form is also brought to the table by Saeed bin Suroor’s Platinum Star, who was only narrowly beaten when filling the runner-up spot in the Windsor Castle Stakes.

Classy Moon looked a smart sort when making a winning start to his career at Carlisle, and trainer Karl Burke has warned his charge should not be dismissed lightly.

He said: “He’s a lovely horse. The bare form of his Carlisle race is nothing special, but you can certainly mark him up three or four lengths better than the final result. He’s come on for that, and he goes to Newmarket a lot fitter than he went to Carlisle.

“The favourite of Mark Johnston’s is obviously very well thought of, but this horse could run very well – it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see him run into a place.

“He’s a real good stamp of a horse, and I think definitely a Group-race two-year-old. This is a big step up in class from a Carlisle maiden, but I’m very confident that he’ll run a big race.

“He’s shown plenty at home, and we know he’s a lot better than his paper form.”

Aidan O’Brien saddles Royal Lytham and King Neptune, with Tim Easterby’s dual winner Hurstwood and David Elsworth’s newcomer Dogged completing the line-up.

Visinari taking 'step into unknown' in July Stakes
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