Master of finance another likely Johnston sort

July 12th, 2015 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News

Eye Of The Storm duly won the Coral Marathon at Sandown for my friend George Materna last week. He has been waiting for a horse to compete at Pattern level and this one-eyed individual was well bought out of Aidan O’Brien’s stable. He will need to be genuine Group 2 class to have a chance in the Goodwood Cup and I feel that is another major step but Amanda Perrett’s horses invariably run well at the course and he should not be far away.

Michael Dods sensibly took Mecca’s Angel out of the Coral Charge. She is a soft ground filly, probably as good as anything around over five furlongs and the ideal race should be the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp on Arc day. Presumably she will take her chance in the Nunthorpe if rain arrives in Yorkshire next month but I think the Abbaye is perfect for her. Incidentally, stable-companion Easton Angel seemed to find six furlongs plenty far enough at Newmarket thIs week and may always be netter over the minimum trip.

There has been quite a lot of talk about Mark Johnston’s horses recently, with some pundits drawing attention to their tendency to bounce back from poor runs. That was certainly true of Resonant at Newmarket on Thursday, where he turned a competitive-looking ten-furlong handicap into a procession after twice running poorly.

For what it’s worth, I think Johnston keeps running tough older horses as long as they hold their form on the gallops. Resonant had twice won well but was probably feeling the effects of his exertions when finishing down the field the next twice. So he had three weeks off and then, even off a mark 8lb higher than his last winning one, rediscovered his best form and galloped the opposition ragged. No one wants to back horses ‘blind’ but when they suddenly find their form like this they will always be a price; Resonant was 12/1, for example.

I’m not sure I’ll ever make the stable pay but I do like MASTER OF FINANCE in the John Smith’s Cup at York on Saturday. I’ve liked him ever since seeing him run well behind Mahsoob at York in May and there have been some good efforts since, including at Epsom. He never managed to dominate behind stable-companion Sennockian Star at Chester last time but I think Silvestre de Sousa, who is riding extremely well, will have him bowling along in front here and he will take some passing.

Take Cover isn’t quite top class in the sprinting ranks but he takes a step down in the City Walls Stakes, also at York. He has excellent early pace and won this race last year. He should lead and may well hold on for a place, so each-way is very much the call.

Otherwise the racing looks very difficult and there is too much of it. Highland Colori ran much better last time after a spell in the doldrums and Andrew Balding almost certainly has him spot-on for the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket, while Desert Law is in great heart and should go close in the opening five-furlong sprint at Ascot. I’m not wild about the July Cup at Newmarket but when you see a horse quicken clear as Muhaarar did at Ascot, you certainly won’t be betting heavily against him. Brazen Beau needed more company at the royal meeting and looks a big threat, while Muthmir is definitely better over this six furlongs than five.