Royal Ascot - At The Races

Mark Johnston Stable Tour

    Northern powerhouse Mark Johnston has saddled 41 winners at Royal Ascot and returns in 2018 with his strongest-ever Berkshire battalion, comprising of top 2YOs right through to tough-as-teak handicappers.
  • Friday 15 June 2018
  • Stable Tours

It was business as usual for Mark Johnston at Royal Ascot in 2017 when a brace at the meeting took his total on the roll of honour to 41.

 The subsequently ill-fated Permian instigated the double when providing the Middleham maestro with a third success in the King Edward VII Stakes (Boscobel 2007 and Monterosso 2010 previously success) and the gallant veteran Oriental Fox ended the Royal Meeting on a high note for the second time in three years when landing the Queen Alexandra Stakes.

Johnston appears to have as strong as team as he has ever had with Main Edition (Albany Stakes) and Natalie’s Joy (Chesham Stakes) looking to have particularly decent chances.

With some stable stalwarts running in the Duke Of Edinburgh and some improving three-year-olds in the King George V Handicap there could well be some surprise darts hitting the bullseye and Charlie Johnston, assistant to his father, kindly guided Tony Elves of attheraces.com through the Kingsley Park team for the Royal Ascot 2018.

Older Horses

Dominating (GER)

Form Profile:

Back to something like his best when second, beaten a head, to Stone The Crows in a handicap at Carlisle (1m 6f) in June off a mark of 87.

Trainer Says:

He could be our third runner on the first day and could run in the Ascot Stakes (Handicap). At the start of the year we were hoping he would progress into a really good staying handicapper and he was quite disappointing for his first three runs. He came back at Carlisle last time where he was beaten only a nose and was more like his old self. We are pretty certain he will stay – he has already won over two miles and two furlongs – he should be near the bottom of the weights and he could have an each-way squeak

Video Form
28 Apr 2018:
22 Sep 2017:
30 Sep 2016:
17 Sep 2016:

Fire Fighting (IRE)

Form Profile:

Returned to winning form latest start at Windsor (1m 3 1/2f) this month when beating C’Est No Mour a length and a half off a mark of 94.

Trainer Says:

Good old Fire Fighting booked his ticket for the Duke Of Edinburgh when winning at Windsor this week. He is an absolute star in the yard and a great favourite to everyone. He has his own ideas about the game these days and doesn’t always deliver on a regular basis but came back to form at Windsor on Monday night and under a penalty he should get in now. He was rated well over 100 at one point so he is still feasibly handicapped on some of his old form.

Video Form
11 Jun 2018:
6 Apr 2018:
23 Mar 2018:
3 Feb 2018:
20 Jan 2018:

Love Dreams (IRE)

Form Profile:

Below par effort when unplaced to Seniority at Chelmsford (1m) on Wednesday.

Trainer Says:

He was going to run in the Royal Hunt Cup but he ran below form at Chelmsford on Wednesday so we will have to get home and see how he is and think it over. He is a bit of tinker when he wants to be and wears blinkers and he might not try as hard as he could sometimes but he has tons of ability. It wouldn’t surprise me if he was able to run a good race in a race like the Hunt Cup.

Video Form
13 Jun 2018:
26 Apr 2018:
21 Mar 2018:

Star Of The East (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner twice this season scoring by a neck from Gabrial’s King at Chester (1m 4 1/2f) in May and adding to that success at that course (1m 5/12f) later that month when holding Humble Hero by a head.

Trainer Says:

He is also entered in the Ascot Stakes but we haven’t decided whether he will go or not. All of his form is at a mile and a half so it would be a bit of a short in the dark as to whether he will stay two and a half miles. We will have to weigh up whether he is up to that distance or not.

Video Form
28 Apr 2018:
14 Apr 2018:
21 Sep 2017:
24 Aug 2017:
24 Sep 2016:

Time To Study (FR)

Form Profile:

Probably best effort this season when runner-up, beaten five lengths, to Torcedor in the Group 3 Sagaro Stakes at Ascot (2m) in May.

Trainer Says:

The Queen Alexandra is a race we have won twice in the last three years with Oriental Fox and he is in the Grand Cup at York on Saturday but he could also go there. Time To Study has been running well in defeat in races like the Sagaro and Henry II and he ran a reasonable race in the Chester Cup. He stays very well which is the main thing you need for that race and if he ends up going there he would have an outside chance.

Video Form
15 Sep 2017:
17 Nov 2016:
12 Nov 2016:

Titi Makfi

Form Profile:

Finished second, beaten half a length, to Mia Tesoro in a listed event at Nottingham (1m 2f) in June on her latest start.

Trainer Says:

She had a fantastic year in 2017 and won six times and went from being rated 70 to 103. We have been chasing black type with her the last couple of starts and she has finished second and third in two listed races. For Royal Ascot we will probably drop back into handicap company and go for the Duke Of Edinburgh. A mile and a half in that sort of grade is ideal for her and she would have an each-way chance.

Video Form
20 Sep 2017:
30 Nov 2016:
18 Oct 2016:

Three Year Olds

Baghdad (FR)

Form Profile:

Returned to winning form when short heading stablemate Making Miracles off a mark of 80 at York (1m 4f) in May.

Trainer Says:

Baghdad and Making Miracles finished first and second in a handicap at the Dante Meeting at York and they also run in the King George V Handicap. They pulled six lengths clear of the third then and they are two horses we really like. They are both quite lightly-raced, middle-distance horses and two horses who I think can go really well in a tough race.

Video Form
5 Apr 2018:
2 Nov 2017:
19 Jul 2017:

Communique (IRE)

Form Profile:

Off the mark when beating Poet’s Prince a length and three quarters in the London Gold Cup at Newbury (1m 2f) in May off a mark of 84.

Trainer Says:

We could have four runners in the King George V Handicap and they are all very nice horses that deserve to be in there. Communique would be the most obvious one who won the London Gold Cup at Newbury. He is still lightly-raced, he has only had five starts, and he improved to win at Newbury. I fully expect him to improve even more over a mile and a half and with further experience. He is a real exciting horse and has the perfect kind of profile for this race.

Video Form
31 Mar 2018:
26 Oct 2017:

King's Proctor (IRE)

Form Profile:

Placed in his four outings this term and runner-up, beaten five lengths, to First Eleven at Newbury (1m 3f) in May off a mark of 86.

Trainer Says:

He is one of a few entries in the Queen’s Vase. He finished third in the Dee Stakes at Chester and ran a good race behind Rostropovich and he has had some reasonable form at around a mile and a quarter this year. He will have to improve a lot to be in the shake up but we are quite confident he will stay in a race we love to win.

Video Form
16 Apr 2018:

Lake Volta (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of the listed Surrey Stakes at Epsom (7f) in June by four and half lengths from Aurum.

Trainer Says:

He will run in the Jersey Stakes. He ran a great race in the Surrey Stakes and won that Listed race it by a country mile. We had been running him over five and six furlongs and that was probably wrong. We stepped him up to seven and he took a real step forward. He wouldn’t mind a bit of cut in the ground and he is on 112 now so he deserves to run in this sort of race and so we will see how we go.

Video Form
28 May 2018:
30 Mar 2018:
3 Mar 2018:
21 Feb 2018:
24 Oct 2017:

Lucky Deal

Form Profile:

Returned to winning form when scoring by a length and a quarter from Emerald Rocket at Carlisle (1m 3f) at Carlisle last week off a mark of 86.

Trainer Says:

He was disappointing at Haydock two starts back but won at Carlisle last week and booked his place in the team for the King George V Handicap. He needs to improve again to be in the shake-up but is lightly-raced and he won last time out.

Video Form
23 Nov 2017:

Lynwood Gold (IRE)

Form Profile:

Finished third, beaten four lengths, to Diocletian in a handicap at Doncaster (1m 6 1/2f) this month off a mark of 97.

Trainer Says:

He is our other runner in the Queen’s Vase. He finished third at Doncaster on Derby Day and the ground that day was absolutely atrocious. I thought he did well carrying topweight to get as close as he did in what was very testing ground. There is no questions about stamina with him as he stays very well and he will need to improve to be in the shake-up but it is not out the question that he will improve.

Video Form
2 Jun 2018:

Making Miracles

Form Profile:

Had three runs in May - beaten half a length on seasonal bow at Pontefract,defeated a short-head by stablemate Baghdad at York before scoring by four and a half lengths off 80 at Leicester.

Trainer Says:

Baghdad and Making Miracles finished first and second in a handicap at the Dante Meeting at York and they also run in the King George V Handicap. They pulled six lengths clear of the third then and they are two horses we really like. They are both quite lightly-raced, middle-distance horses and two horses who I think can go really well in a tough race.

Video Form
9 Nov 2017:
19 Sep 2017:

Mildenberger

Form Profile:

Landed the Listed Feilden Stakes at Newmarket (1m 1f) by half a length from Fortune’s Pearl on his reappearance in April and finished runner-up, beaten four and a half lengths, to Roaring Lion in the Group 2 Dante Stakes at York (1m 2 1/2f) in May.

Trainer Says:

He is in the King Edward VII Stakes and he will probably run there although is also entered in the Queen’s Vase. Through the Winter we probably thought he was a better horse than Dee Ex Bee and this will be the first chance to run over a trip which we think will prove his optimum. He has only gone a mile and quarter of shorter and this will be his first go at a mile and a half but we are pretty confident he will improve for the step up to a mile and a half. We won the race with Permian last year and it would be special to try and win it again.

Rufus King

Form Profile:

Highly creditable fifth, beaten three and a half lengths, to Maksab under 9st 7lb at Newmarket (7f) last Saturday.

Trainer Says:

He will be one of our runners in the Britannia Handicap. He has been running over seven furlongs but, hopefully, he will improve for the step up to a mile. He brings a bit of class to the race and he was second to Headway in a listed at Lingfield in the Spring and third to Lake Volta at Epsom. We are dropping him back into a handicap and he is horse I could see running well.

Video Form
3 Mar 2018:
22 Jun 2017:
19 May 2017:

Threading (IRE)

Form Profile:

Returned to winning form with a seven-length success from Dance Diva in a listed event at York (1m) in May.

Trainer Says:

She will run in the Coronation Stakes. She is a filly we thought a lot of last year and she ran a couple of stinkers – both at Newmarket. We were a bit lot what to do with her but we tried her up to a mile at York and she bounced right back to form. I think the Coronation Stakes is shaping up to be one of the toughest races of the meeting – it sounds like the Guineas winners from England, Ireland and France could go there. She deserves her chance in that sort of company and is a Group 2 winner already. She is in great form.

Vale Of Kent (IRE)

Form Profile:

Best recent effort when third, beaten half a length, to Society Power at Goodwood (7f) in May.

Trainer Says:

He will also run in the Britannia Handicap and he finished third in the big seven-furlong handicap at Goodwood in May. He looked for all money that he was going to win that day as he was clear in front and just collared in the last 50 yards. He had to use up a lot of petrol that day coming over from a wide draw and he ran a fantastic race. It’s a tough race to win but all three of our horses would have live each-way chances.

Video Form
31 May 2018:
2 Apr 2018:
24 Mar 2018:
16 Feb 2018:
31 Jan 2018:

Ventura Knight (IRE)

Form Profile:

Returned to winning form on his latest start at Doncaster (1m) in June when beating Maverick Officer half a length off a mark of 91.

Trainer Says:

He won at Doncaster last time out and we haven’t run him since then specifically with the Britannia in mind. A mile on fast ground is his ideal conditons so we would expect to get that at Ascot. He has an each-way chance.

Video Form
19 May 2018:
27 Oct 2017:
16 Sep 2017:
2 Sep 2017:
1 Jun 2017:

Two Year Olds

Blown By Wind

Form Profile:

Made a wining debut at Windsor (5f) in April when beating Awake In Asia three and a half lengths and added to that when battling on strongly to score by three quarters of a length from Amplify in a novice event at Ascot (5f) in May. Creditable fourth, beaten a length and three quarters, to Vintage Brut in the Listed National Stakes at Sandown (5f) later in May.

Trainer Says:

He runs in the Coventry – he has shown a very good level already and it was a bit disappointing to finish fourth in the National Stakes but he was drawn out in stall 9 and that is real tough at Sandown. If he had been drawn down on the rails he would have gone a lot closer. We also feel he will take a good step forward for the step up to six furlongs. It is going to be tough race to win but he goes there with a good chance and he had plenty of experience under his belt and plenty of ability. I would be hopeful of a big run from him.

Video Form
30 Apr 2018:
16 Apr 2018:

I Am A Dreamer

Form Profile:

Off the mark at the third attempt when beating Kessar half a length at York (6f) in May and followed up with a nose defeat of Moyassar in a novice event over that course and distance later that month.

Trainer Says:

He could also go for the Coventry and he has won his last two at York. It seems bizarre but he seems to have got greener the more he has run. He was very straightforward his first two starts and the last two time at York he has run around a lot. He had to survive a Stewards’ Enquiry at the Dante meeting but he has won twice now and defied a penalty. He is another who may not have as sexy a profile as some but he has plenty of experience under his belt and definitely deserves to go there.

Main Edition (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of both of her starts to date. Scored by three and three quarter lengths from Satisfying at Windsor (6f) in May and followed up with a three and a quarter length success from Pogo at Goodwood (6f) in June.

Trainer Says:

Main Edition is a filly we think a lot of and she is two from two and she goes for the Albany. She won at Windsor first time out then she went to Goodwood second time out against colts with a penalty and, again, won very easily. She looks above average and the Albany will take a lot of winning but she goes there with a leading chance.

Video Form
21 May 2018:

Natalie's Joy

Form Profile:

Scored by six lengths from Swift And Sure on her debut at Goodwood (6f) in May.

Trainer Says:

She would be our main hope for the Chesham. She won by six lengths first time out at Goodwood and she was very impressive. She nearly broke the track record and she is a filly we think a lot of at home. We maybe would have liked to get a bit more experience into her but the way things transpired she is going to go there with only one run under her belt. Seven furlongs should be fine for her but she has tons of speed and we finished second in the race with Nyaleti last year and, hopefully, she can go one better.

New Winds

Form Profile:

Off the mark on her debut at Newmarket (6f) in May when beating Beyond Reason two lengths and returned to winning form with a neck defeat of Ellheidi at Haydock (6f) last week.

Trainer Says:

She could go for the Chesham too and won at Haydock earlier in the week. She is now two from three with one disappointing run in between when the ground at Doncaster was terrible. She has won twice on good to firm and the form of her first run at Newmarket where she beat Beyond Reason of Godolphin’s and Angel Hideaway of John Gosden has worked out well as both have won since. Hopefully, she will acquit herself well.

Video Form
2 Jun 2018:

Octave (IRE)

Form Profile:

Scored by a neck from Royal Intervention at Lingfield (6f) in May and finished runner-up, beaten five lengths, to Calyx in a novice event at Newmarket (6f) this month.

Trainer Says:

She will also run in the Albany. She scrambled home but was quite green when winning first time out at Lingfield and then ran at Newmarket last week and finished second behind what looked like an aeroplane (Calyx) of John Gosden’s. I was actually more impressed by her in defeat to him as she had a penalty to carry and beat the rest of the colts by six lengths. I think time will tell she just bumped into something very special that day. I think she is well above average herself and has definitely earned the right to go to Royal Ascot.

Video Form
29 May 2018: