Johnston Trio Under Consideration for Riyadh


Mildenberger |

Finals Day on Good Friday, is set to compete in the Long Distance Turf H. at Riyadh in February. The listed winner is one of several likely competitors for the yard in Saudi Arabia on Feb. 20.

“He'll definitely go to Lingfield on Finals Day and he's in at Saudi next month,” said Mark Johnston's son and assistant Charlie. “I'll have to clarify how their system works out there as to whether he'll get a penalty for his win, because at the moment he's not guaranteed a run. Were they to pump him up the weights slightly, that might get him in.

“Were he to get a run, he could quite possibly go to Saudi. That's about six weeks before the all-weather finals, so it won't have any bearing on him going there.”

Another horse pointing to the 3000-metre Long Distance Turf H. is G1 Prix Royal Oak victor Subjectivist (GB) (Teofilo {Ire}). Also a winner of the G3 March S. last August, the 4-year-old colt has not raced since his October triumph at ParisLongchamp.

“Subjectivist is in the same race at Saudi. I was a bit perplexed when I saw the entries that our 111-rated last time out Group 1 winner isn't guaranteed a run and there are some pretty out of form horses above him in the weights,” he said.

“He's going to need a couple of horses to come out to make sure he gets a run, so we will have to see how that transpires over the next couple of weeks, but he is back in work and we've got half an eye on that should he get in.”

Another Johnston trainee, Leopardo (Cairo Prince) is likely for a Dubai contest next week, but the colt also carries an entry for the Saudi Derby. Lightly raced, the Newcastle maiden winner was third in a Nov. 7 conditions race and went one better at handicap level at Wolverhampton on Nov. 28.

“He is out in Dubai and he'll probably run in the Al Bastakiya Trial next Thursday,” he said. “He does have an entry in the Saudi Derby, but again he's not guaranteed a run.”

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