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Lancashire Telegraph Racing Column
7:00am Tuesday 25th March 2014 in Sport
Mark Johnston is relentlessly churning out the winners and looks set for another good day at Southwell.
The Middleham man appears to have found the right race for Tarrafal to break his duck in the 32Red Burning Desire Slot Maiden Stakes.
The three-year-old Shamardal colt, unraced at two, is very choicely bred as he is out of Cape Verdi, who won the 1000 Guineas for Godolphin.
It must be slightly disappointing for Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley breeding operation that Tarrafal is only competing at this level but these Johnston horses have a habit of improving rapidly and he could do just that once the turf season starts.
In his two spins at Wolverhampton, third of four on his debut and second of four last time out, he has shown a level of ability without suggesting he is going to be a star.
He was, however, giving 5lb to the winner the last day, a filly who had a rating of 74 going into the contest and on any given day that would equate to a performance decent enough to win a Southwell maiden.
Tarrafal still looked green in front so when the penny finally drops he might be decent.
Johnston could also be on the mark with Sir Frank Morgan in the 32Red On The App Store Handicap.
As a two-year-old, the son of Montjeu looked like being one of the worst horses through Johnston’s hands, finishing last of eight at Bath, fifth of five at Ayr and 13th of 14 at Nottingham.
He then missed the whole of 2013, reappeared at Wolverhampton earlier this month and won by over three lengths at 7-2.
Joe Fanning suggested that gelding him had helped him grow up and it must be said he was winning at a lowly level.
He then won under a penalty a week later and needs to defy another penalty, but he looks the type the yard excel with.
Ridgeway Storm looks an interesting type in the coral.co.uk Best Odds Guaranteed On Racing Median Auction Maiden Stakes.
He may have only finished fourth of six on his debut at Newmarket in August but it looked a decent contest with the form working out well.
That was last August so he has a lengthy absence to overcome but unless Andrew Balding’s newcomer From Frost is pretty smart, he may not have much to beat.
Fayette County is oner JP McManus’ first horse with trainer Tim Vaughan and they look set for some good days together.
He won on his debut in the green and gold silks at Taunton and while he is a chaser in the making, races like the 32Red On The App Store Novices’ Hurdle at Chepstow are vital for his education.
Our Phylli Vera is on a hat-trick in the 32Red Mares’ Handicap Hurdle and looks a good bet to bring it up.
She has won twice at Plumpton and looks on a roll.
The Rebecca Curtis-trained Champagne Rian had looked a horse with a future before running deplorably at Haydock.
He has been given two months to get over that effort in desperate ground and if returning to his bumper form or his earlier novice hurdles form then he could take a great deal of beating in the Docker Hughes Memorial Novices’ Hurdle at Fontwell.
CHEPSTOW: 2.00 Fayette County, 2.30 El Macca, 3.00 Tokyo Javilex, 3.35 Our Phylli Vera, 4.10 Daveron, 4.45 The Chazer, 5.15 Aribo D’Albain.
FONTWELL: 2.10 Bob Keown, 2.40 Dynamic Idol, 3.10 Champagne Rian, 3.45 Smart Exit, 4.20 Sudden Wish, 4.55 Sablazo, 5.25 Hughesie.
SOUTHWELL: 2.20 Solarmaite, 2.50 Ridgeway Storm, 3.25 Imaginary Diva, 4.00 TARRAFAL (NAP), 4.35 Lyric Street, 5.05 Sir Frank Morgan, 5.35 Alumina.
DOUBLE: Tarrafal and Sir Frank Morgan.
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