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Monday, 11 September 2017

Mark Johnston Not Illusional Over Talented 2YO

2:55 Brighton (Monday 11th September) -

Just six two-year-olds entered for this Class 5 EBF Novice Stake over 6f 210y on soft going.

Mark Johnston has been in flying form this season and unleashed a real talent at York when Elarqam shot clear of his field to win by almost four lengths. The son of Frankel who cost 1,600,000 guineas at the yearling sales was every inch the talking horse and earmarked for a number of high-profile races.

Today, Johnston fields a debutant called Illusional. This American-bred colt is a son of Bernardini and homebred for Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum. Although not one of the best juveniles from Kingsley Park Stables this March foal has been noted by the trainer. Interesting to consider he was entered for a Class 2 Novice Stakes at Doncaster.

Bookmakers have this bay colt priced the second favourite.

The major opponent will be the twice raced Sarstedt, trained by Henry Candy. This son of Sixties Icon wasn't fancied on debut when priced 20/1. He didn't show a great deal of ability beaten into fifth place.

The betting suggested a bold show on his second start when stepping up to seven furlongs on the turf at Lingfield. To be fair, he looked the winner until Regimented, trained by Richard Hannon, battled on well, springing something of a surprise at 25/1. There are a few money back specials, all of which are listed on this useful page.

The horse to beat.

Few trainers have more strength and depth within their two-year-old ranks than Charlie Appleby. Rastrelli is a French-bred son of Siyouni that cost 550,000 euros when purchased at the breeze-up sales. This February foal wasn't strongly fancied on debut when racing over seven furlongs. However, he showed more when stepping up to one mile when finishing fourth at Goodwood.

The betting suggests this is a three-horse race.

Ashington, Kalakchee & Swift Fox are priced 33/1+. Best watched. 

Conclusion: Henry Candy's Sarstedt ran well on his recent start and likely to set the pace. Illusional will need to be primed but the way the stable is going it would be a brave bookmaker to lay too big odds. The fact he was considered for a Novice Stakes with good price money suggests he will go well. Rastrelli may not appreciate this step back in distance. Sarstedt & illusional make most appeal.

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