Wade makes a splash for Johnston
Wednesday 8 August 2012
Mark Johnston's fantastic run of form continued at Pontefract as Glorious Goodwood hero Sir Graham Wade secured his second win in a week.
By his own admission, Johnston's string were not running with their usual consistency earlier in the campaign, but they have suddenly found top gear. Sir Graham Wade was one of seven Johnston-trained winners on the Sussex Downs last week and was unsurprisingly the 11-10 favourite for Pontefract's Family Day On Sunday 19th August Handicap.
Settled in the middle of the pack by Joe Fanning for much of the mile-and-a-half journey, the three-year-old grey was taken wide to launch his challenge at the top of the home straight. Once in the clear, he quickly put the race to bed and was kept up to his work at the finish to beat Edmaaj by four and a half lengths.
Johnston's son, Charlie, said: "He's a very nice horse and he's a horse we've always thought a lot of. He had some pretty ambitious entries as a two-year-old, which he couldn't quite fulfil, but we're seeing the best of him now he's starting to mature. I still think there's improvement to come.
"Mentally he's still quite green and it's not often you see Joe trying to get a bit of cover on one ours. There is still improvement to come from him mentally, that's for sure."
Sir Graham Wade's triumph was the second leg of a double on the card for Johnston and Fanning after 13-2 shot Alkadi made all of the running in the Big Fellas Nightclub Handicap.
Reflecting on Glorious Goodwood, Johnston jnr said: "I was away for the week but I got back on Sunday and the yard was buzzing. Everyone is in great form and trying to give the boss a nudge to get him to throw us a party. The horses are flying, and long may it continue."
Alan Swinbank's Kamchatka built on the promise of his debut fourth at Thirsk by landing the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden. Robert Winston was keen to take up a prominent position on the 5-2 favourite and he got the job done in good style, beating Polish Crown by three lengths.
Winston told Racing UK: "He was very impressive and I think it was quite a warm race at Thirsk. The experience has obviously brought my lad on and the extra furlong and stiff track have suited him well.
"He just cruised to the two-furlong marker, I pushed the button and he responded. He's very professional, he's fine stamp of a horse and I like him a lot."