Ascot triumph sees Mark Johnston earmark Juddmonte International for Permian

Permian, ridden by Jockey William Buick, wins the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot last week. Picture: John Walton/PA.
Permian, ridden by Jockey William Buick, wins the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot last week. Picture: John Walton/PA.
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the Juddmonte International at York has emerged as a potential target for Mark Johnston’s Royal Ascot hero Permian.

The Teofilo colt won the Dante Stakes on Knavesmire in May before running below par in the Epsom Derby.

Trainer Mark Johnston. Picture: Simon Hulme

Trainer Mark Johnston. Picture: Simon Hulme

However, he showed his true colours when landing last Friday’s King Edward VII Stakes to provide Middleham-based Johnston with a landmark 40th winner at the Royal meeting.

In true Johnston-style, Permian was kicked into the lead on the final bend by jockey William Buick who never surrendered the advantage.

Permian was immediately ruled out of the Irish Derby this Saturday, and with the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown also likely to come too soon, trainer Mark Johnston is set to choose between an Ascot return for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes on July 19 or the International on August 23.

“He’s in the Eclipse a week on Saturday, but that will almost certainly come too quick for him,” said Johnston. “He’s in the Juddmonte and the King George and I’d be interested in running him over a stiff mile and a quarter at York.”

He’s in the Juddmonte and the King George and I’d be interested in running him over a stiff mile-and-a-quarter at York.

Trainer Mark Johnston

Permian was one of two winners for the Middleham handler at the showpiece meeting, with Oriental Fox winning the Queen Alexandra Stakes for the second time.

He also had a number of horses perform well in defeat, perhaps most notably Nyaleti.

The two-year-old turned out just six days after making a winning debut at Salisbury in the Chesham Stakes and ran a fantastic race to finish second to 1000 Guineas favourite September.

Johnston said: “The phone hasn’t stopped with people wanting to buy her.

“We were really pleased with her, but that (seven furlongs) might have been too far so we might now go back to six for the Cherry Hinton (Duchess of Cambridge Stakes) at Newmarket (July 14).”

Meanwhile, York hero Blue Point is set to miss this summer’s Ebor festival.

Winner of last season’s Gimcrack Stakes, the Godolphin-owned colt was third to Caravaggio and Harry Angel in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

Though the six-furlong race was restricted to three-year-old horses, it was the sprint of the season because of the class of all three protagonists.

However, trainer Charlie Appleby reports Blue Point, ridden by the aforementioned Buick, to have been left “jarred” by the quick ground encountered at the Berkshire track. Haydock’s Group One Sprint Cup on September 9 is the target rather than York’s Nunthorpe Stakes.

Royal Ascot-winning jockey Oisin Murphy’s visit to Beverley for one ride paid off when the three-year-old War Of Succession, owned by Qatar Racing and trained by Andrew Balding, won the maiden.

It was another fine tactical ride by the 21-year-old who hustled his mount early on so he could control the race from the front.

Murphy won his first race at Royal Ascot last week when Benbatl, the Dante runner-up, won the Hampton Court Stakes.