MARK Johnston was in fabulous form at Hamilton yesterday, where his three runners – Overstep, Wadacre Sarko and Galician – all won at combined odds of nearly 400-1. They were all ridden by Joe Fanning.
Overstep turned over 2-9 chance Morning Post in the juvenile maiden, while Galician upset 1-5 shot Quick Wit in the featured conditions stakes. Progressive Wadacre Sarko was sent off 6-5 favourite before landing the 12f handicap.
Johnston said: “I’ve always thought Overstep was a nice horse at home and maybe the favourite wasn’t as good as they thought. Galician’s speed won a race in which there was no gallop. I noticed there were only three in it so I confirmed him with just a minute to go.”
Tim Vaughan sends four horses on the long trip from south Wales to Perth today and he reckons they all have chances of bringing some prize money back to his Glamorgan base.
Groomed is first to fly the flag in the opening Perth Interactive Handicap Chase and his trainer said: “The ground should be perfect him as he returns to chasing.
“He was second over hurdles last time at Ffos Las and isn’t too badly handicapped.”
Duneen Point has his second spin over fences in the Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer Novices’ Handicap Chase and Vaughan added: “He was a good second on his chase debut at Uttoxeter and the trip might just be on the sharp side for him but there are so few opportunities we are giving it a go.”
Rattan Lake drops into plating company as he appears after a lay-off in the Farmers Market September 9th Selling Handicap Hurdle. Vaughan said: “He’s a consistent and more than capable in this company. I’m sending up to Scotland in good form so I’d be hopeful of a big run.”
The trainer’s quartet is completed by Latest Trend in the concluding ABF Soldiers Charity Handicap Hurdle and he said: “His last two races were over fences but he wasn’t too much of a natural. He likes hurdling much better and shouldn’t be far away.”
Meanwhile, German trainer Mario Hofer is confident stable star Pastorius is back to his best ahead of his tilt at the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday.
A dual Group One winner in his homeland last summer, before finishing a close third behind esteemed compatriot Danedream in the Grosser Preis Von Baden, the exciting colt signed off his three-year-old campaign with a fine fourth behind the mighty Frankel in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.
He made a brilliant return to action by claiming his third Group One in the Prix Ganay at Longchamp, but beat just one home on his latest appearance in the Singapore Airlines International Cup at Kranji in mid-May.
Given a break since, Hofer is looking forward to seeing his pride and joy return to the European racing scene this weekend, with crack French jockey Olivier Peslier keeping the ride.
Hofer said: “He worked on Monday, everything is fine and he is in good condition. Things did not go right for him in Singapore. The weather was very hot, it was not easy and it was not a good race for him.
“He came back home, we have given him a break and he seems very well. Hopefully he will go to Sandown and give his best performance.
“Olivier Peslier is going to ride him again. They won the Ganay together and Olivier is a top international jockey.
“The ground is not a problem for our horse. He won the Prix Ganay on fast ground and won a Group One in Munich last year on soft ground, so there is no problem there.”
Elsewhere, Paul Deegan has confirmed his star mare Midnight Soprano an intended runner in Saturday’s bet365 Lancashire Oaks at Haydock.