Maydanny delivers to kickstart Johnston double

Middleham handler in flying form since racing resumption.

  • Wednesday 03 June
  • News
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Mark Johnston continued his flying start to the new season thanks to a double at Yarmouth initiated by a first victory for the regally-bred Maydanny in the Betway Heed Your Hunch Handicap.

While the son of Dubawi has a way to go to match the exploits of his Group race-winning half-brother and stablemate Elarqam, the four-year-old showed the benefits of a recent gelding operation to get off the mark at the third attempt.

Having found one too strong in both his starts last season, the 4-1 shot picked up well to score by three and three-quarter lengths to complete a double for jockey Dane O’Neill, who had earlier been on the mark aboard the John Gosden-trained Haqeeqy.

Charlie Johnston, the trainer’s son and assistant, said: “The gelding operation has transformed him. It was a tough decision for Sheikh Hamdan’s team to make.

“He was not mentally at the races at all last year, but he is a completely different animal now.

“It was a basement start in a 0-80, but he is one to look forward to. He had entries over a mile and a quarter, but this race looked the right one in terms of opportunities.”

Mountain Dreams made it five winners in the space of two days for the Middleham master when making a successful belated debut in the Betway Casino EBF Median Auction Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.

Having missed last season after fracturing her pelvis, the daughter of Temple City made up for lost time to give Franny Norton his second winner on the card when claiming the mile prize by three-quarters of a length.

Johnston, said of the 3-1 winner: “She was declared to run as a two-year old at Doncaster in April, but she fractured her pelvis between the declarations and the race.”

The Richard Fahey-trained Ginger Max (11-2) left his previous form behind to get the ball rolling for Norton when mastering last-time-out winner Dutch Story by half a length in the Betway Live Casino Handicap.

Ed Vaughan kept his landlord Colin Murfitt happy as Inhalation (7-1) carried his colours to glory by three-quarters of a length in the Betway Handicap to form the first leg of a double for Hollie Doyle.

The Newmarket handler, speaking away from the track, said: “Colin is my landlord so there will be no rent increase now!

“He did get a bump on the way and when he got there he didn’t really know what to do, but Hollie (Doyle) gave him a flick and he picked up nicely.”

Lalania (16-1) from the yard of William Stone finished fastest of them all to take the concluding Read Andrew Balding On Betway Insider Handicap by half a length, giving Doyle her second brace in the space of two days.

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