Subjectivist warmed up for next month’s Pertemps St Leger in perfect fashion with a front-running victory in the Ladbrokes March Stakes.
Having sent out subsequent St Leger second Sir Ron Priestley to land the Group Three prize 12 months ago, trainer Mark Johnston repeated the trick with his half-brother.
Although he had finished third in the Group Three Gordon Stakes at the Sussex track last month, the Teofilo colt had something to prove after beating only one home in the Great Voltigeur at York on his latest outing.
There was never a moment of doubt for the well-supported 11-10 favourite though, as he gradually wound matters up from the sharp end under Joe Fanning before crossing the line 15 lengths clear of runner-up Cabaletta.
Johnston said: “It was not the plan to come here. We went to the Voltigeur as we think this horse maybe needs longer between races. We went to the Voltigeur to try give him the longer gap (to the St Leger), but it didn’t work.
“I felt straight afterwards that we had to come here to see if he was a better horse over a mile and six. We had a few debates at home and Charlie (Johnston, son and assistant) didn’t want to as he said it was too close to the St Leger and we should go straight there, as Nayef Road flopped in the Voltigeur last year and went straight to the Leger.
“When it broke up to a small field we had to go for it. On the basis of that, he will have an easy fortnight now and provided he is OK, he will go to the Leger.
“Doncaster is often soft, but I think the mile-six is the more important thing than the heavy ground.”
Subjectivist is now a 14-1 shot for the St Leger with both Coral and Paddy Power, who cut him from 33-1, while William Hill offer 16s for the same race.
William Knight may have been out of luck with Sir Busker in the feature Celebration Mile but he enjoyed a birthday winner as Seinesational backed up a recent success in the Ladbrokes Get Your Daily Odds Boost Handicap.
Knight celebrated his 44th birthday as the 3-1 favourite won again after his Sandown win just six days previously.
Knight said: “He is a funny old thing and at home we call him Mr Lairy as he comes back from the gallops everyday bucking, kicking and squealing like a filly.
“Oisin (Murphy) has given him a lovely ride. I think ground is key to him as he likes that bit of cut in the ground. It is probably a career-best performance
“I’m delighted for Mark Tracey of the One Day Rodney Partnership as he has been a big supporter of mine from day one. He has owned horses for 20 years and has had a box here for 15. He has had a couple of seconds here but this is his first winner at the track and this will mean a lot to him.”
Lullaby Moon left behind her below par effort in the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury to make her stable debut for Ralph Beckett a triumphant one in the Ladbrokes Giving Extra Places Every Day EBF Fillies’ Novice Auctions Stakes.
Beckett said of the 13-8 shot, who was racing for her third different trainer in as many starts: “I think the ground is key to her. It was quite quick at Newbury in the Super Sprint which wouldn’t have suited her. Her pedigree indicates it is all about slow ground.
“We could think about the Firth Of Clyde at Ayr as it is usually soft up there, then there are also races like the Radley Stakes at Newbury and Rockingham at York.”
Harry Bentley chose the wrong path aboard Pomelo in the Prestige Stakes but he selected the right one aboard Cold Stare, who opened his account for the campaign when claiming the Brian Chattaway Celebrating 50 Years At Ladbrokes Handicap.
Bentley said of the 13-2 shot, said: “He is a horse that wants to be covered up and I was able to half miss the beat and get him behind a few.
“He took me into the race incredibly well and I always felt like he was going to keep his head in front. If there is soft or heavy in the description he will always be in with a chance.”