Johnston eyes Yorkshire Cup bid for Austrian School

Middleham maestro prefers York to Chester

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Mark Johnston has admitted that is he “sorely tempted” to miss the SportPesa Chester Cup with Austrian School.

Instead, the Middleham handler feels a crack at the Matchbook Yorkshire Cup the following week is more worthwhile for the half-brother to Tiger Roll.

Having won the Queen’s Cup at Musselburgh on his reappearance, he would be 5lb well-in at Chester, despite a 3lb penalty.

“He has come through the handicap ranks but he is a very good horse as well and I’d be sorely tempted to miss the Chester Cup and go for the Yorkshire Cup,” said Johnston.

“Slightly to my surprise someone was asking the other day if he might be for sale as potential stallion and I never really thought of that at all, but it just reminded me that there are bigger things than handicapping for him now.

“I’ve only discussed snippets with his owner, who is Hong Kong. It is very tempting the Chester Cup as he is in there off a great mark. It is two-miles-two, but we said at Musselburgh he doesn’t need to go two-miles-two as he is a horse that is quite capable at a mile-six.”

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