King’s Advice has sights on £1m Ebor

Mark Johnston.
Mark Johnston.
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KING’S Advice will bid to maintain his remarkable progress with victory in the Sky Bet Ebor at York on Saturday before stepping up in grade.

The five-year-old has won eight of his nine races in 2019, with his rating rising from 71 to 113 following his most recent win at Goodwood earlier this month.

And Middleham trainer Mark Johnston’s charge is 7-1 favourite to land the first ever £1m running of the famous handicap.

Already the trainer of the most winners in Britain, Johnston’s horses continue to be in fine form after the trainer landed a record 50 winners last month.

“He just keeps winning and obviously seems to get better,” said Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Saeed Jaber.

“Joe (Fanning) says when he’s riding him he’s travelling better in his races now, like a decent horse. Joe’s ridden him to all his wins here.

“The Ebor is a tough race. I wouldn’t like to say he’ll win the Ebor, but he’s been an improving horse. It’s the first £1m Ebor and it’s quite exciting.

“I know we’ve got to move him up to Group class soon, but we have to take this on the way.”

Meanwhile, stablemate Nayef Road is likely to be declared for Wednesday’s Great Voltigeur Stakes on the opening day of the Welcome to Yorkshire Festival before a possible St Leger tilt next month. “We’ll see about the Leger after he has run at York. He’s an improving horse, like most of Mark’s,” added Raymond.

In other York news, connections of Under The Stars are hoping the best is still to come from the filly after she was supplemented for Thursday’s Sky Bet Lowther Stakes. The decision to add the James Tate-trained juvenile to the field for the six-furlong Group Two was made on the back of her victory in the Princess 
Margaret Stakes at Ascot last month.

Successful on her debut at Ripon three weeks earlier, Under The Stars has several lofty entries, including the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh and the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket.

“The owner likes to take on these things and you’ve got to go forward,” added the aforementioned Raymond.

“James has worked her with other horses and she just seems to be half a length in front of them and looking comfortable.”

Meanwhile a decision will be made this morning on whether to declare Dakota Gold for the Ebor festival’s opening race on Wednesday after the horse’s victory in the William Hill Great St Wilfrid Handicap at Ripon.

Runner-up to Gunmetal last season, the Michael Dods-trained favourite dominated the race under Connor Beasley.

And Darlington-based Dods confessed: “He’s not been easy. He’s bad at the stalls and he goes in last without a lead.

“We’ve just got to know him this season and now we just let him get on with it and I think he’s getting quicker. He put the race to bed at halfway. I’m delighted. He loves the soft ground.”

As for York, Dods said: “On what he’s done today you’d have to say he won nicely so I think he could, given the conditions.”

Yorkshire trainer Mark Johnson and jockey Frankie Dettori had to settle for second when Raffle Prize was narrowly denied by the highly-regarded French colt Earthlight in yesterday’s Group One Darley Prix Morny at Deauville.

Newmarket’s Cheveley Park Stakes is the long-term target for Johnston’s two-year-old filly.

Dettori was soon compensated when John Gosden’s Coronet won the Prix Jean Romanet - a 13th Group One win this year for the Italian who is due to partner both Enable and Stradivarius at this week’s Ebor festival.

Julia Brooke enjoyed success at Southwell when Kildaven Spider prevailed.

The horse was ridden by the Middleham trainer’s son Henry for a racing club attached to their yard.