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Perplexed trainer Johnston goes ‘back to the drawing board’ over Dark Vision

Mark Johnston.
Mark Johnston.
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TRAINER Mark Johnston’s team remain perplexed by rising star Dark Vision’s poor display in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster on St Leger day.

The colt, bought by Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation after an impressive success in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood, was one of the first horses beaten and trailed home last of the six runners. Though the winner, Too Darn Hot, was supreme under Frankie Dettori and is now ante-post favourite for next year’s Classics, Middleham-based Johnston – Britain’s winning-most trainer – clearly expected more from his prospect.

Ryan Moore's mount Veracious could oppose Yorkshire-trained Laurens in the Group One Sun Chariot Stakes.

Ryan Moore's mount Veracious could oppose Yorkshire-trained Laurens in the Group One Sun Chariot Stakes.

“Nothing major has come to light with him,” said Johnston’s son and assistant, Charlie. “Obviously that run was too bad to be true and we’ll go back to the drawing board

“He has been left in the Dewhurst, but we’ll see how things transpire on that front and we won’t make any decision over whether he’ll run again this year just yet.”

Stablemate Main Edition is unlikely to turn out again quickly in the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury.

The Royal Ascot winner finished a creditable fifth in the Moyglare Stud Stakes on Sunday, but the yard is likely to be represented by Marie’s Diamond in the Group Two this weekend.

Roaring Lion, the mount of Oisin Murphy, tops the standings for the Cartier Horse of the year after this hard-fought win over Saxon Warrior in the Irish Champion Stakes.

Roaring Lion, the mount of Oisin Murphy, tops the standings for the Cartier Horse of the year after this hard-fought win over Saxon Warrior in the Irish Champion Stakes.

Sir Michael Stoute’s team say Veracious is on track to take on Karl Burke’s four-time Group One winner Laurens in Newmarket’s Sun Chariot Stakes next month.

Eight individual Group One winners are among 25 fillies still engaged in this prestigious one-mile race which is due to take place on October 6.

Leyburn-based Burke nominated this race for Laurens after she made all the running to land the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown last Saturday.

Stoute last landed this event with the Cheveley Park Stud home-bred filly, Integral, in 2014.

And Chris Richardson, managing director of Cheveley Park Stud, owner-breeders of Veracious, is hopeful of a bold run after an injury-interrupted campaign.

Despite this, Veracious was still good enough to finish third in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot by Alpha Centauri, the horse that Laurens beat at Leopardstown, before landing the Atalanta Stakes at Sandown earlier this month.

“I was impressed with Laurens last weekend but she has done a fair amount of racing while Veracious is potentially on the way up,” said Richardson.

“There is no better man than Sir Michael Stoute to get a filly like her to peak at the end of the season.”

Roaring Lion stormed to the head of the standings for Cartier Horse Of The Year following a sensational weekend of European racing that featured eight Group One contests across three countries.

The three-year-old colt, owned by Qatar Racing and trained by John Gosden, gained a third consecutive success at the highest level with a swooping neck verdict over Saxon Warrior in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.

The mount of the in-form Oisin Murphy whose career has been taken to new heights thanks to his big race association with this great grey, Roaring Lion has now accrued 174 points in Pattern races so far this season.

He may now head to Ascot for the Qipco Champion Stakes where victory in the big race next month could clinch both the Cartier Horse Of The Year and Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt Awards for 2018.