'Back to the drawing board' for Raffle Prize with Ascot off the agenda

Johnston team to regroup following 1000 Guineas disappointment.

  • Wednesday 10 June
  • News
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Raffle Prize will not make a quick reappearance at Royal Ascot following her below-par effort in the Qipco 1000 Guineas.

Last year’s Queen Mary winner was ruled out of a return to the Royal meeting after the Mark Johnston-trained three-year-old failed to beat a rival in the fillies’ Classic at Newmarket.

Plans have been put on hold for the daughter of Slade Power until she returns to her best at home.

Charlie Johnston, assistant to his father, said: “It was very disappointing. She missed the break and was on the back foot early on and she just never seemed comfortable. Nothing physically obvious has come to light since, so it is very much back to the drawing board with her.

“You won’t see her any time any time soon and she will not be going to Royal Ascot.

“We will try to make sure she is right in herself at home before going again.”

Though it was Raffle Prize’s first attempt over a mile, Johnston believes the trip was not to blame for her defeat.

He said: “She didn’t look like a Queen Mary winner that was cantering all over them at halfway and then folded.

“If anything she looked like she was struggling to lay up to them. I think we just have to put a line through it.

“You can’t take away what she achieved as a two-year-old, but it is disappointing when a flagship horse runs like that.”

Stablemate Rose Of Kildare, who finished ahead of Raffle Prize in ninth, could have another crack at a Classic with an outing in the German 1000 Guineas a possible target, travel restrictions permitting.

Johnston said: “Rose Of Kildare wasn’t disgraced at all. I thought three out she would drop away and be outclassed, but to be fair she stuck on well to finish in a group of four horses between sixth and ninth.

“We thought she could be up to winning a German Guineas which is a race we have won for the past two seasons and nothing would put us off that. The only thing at the moment is logistically it might be quite tricky.”

Should a trip to Germany fail to materialise on Sunday week, then a step up in trip could beckon for the dual Group Three-winning daughter of Make Believe.

Johnston added: “If we can’t go to Germany we will look at other options at home.

“We are not ruling out trying her over a mile and a quarter. On pedigree she should be able to get that trip.

“At the top level over a mile, those better horses just have too much toe for her.”

'Back to the drawing board' for Raffle Prize with Ascot off the agenda
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