Easy victory for Subjectivist raises hopes of Doncaster St Leger success

Mark Johnston knows that Subjectivist has the stamina required for the Pertemps St Leger, the final Classic of 2020, after an imposing win at Goodwood.

By Staff Reporter
Monday, 31st August 2020, 10:10 am
Joe Fanning riding Subjectivist easily to victory in The Ladbrokes March Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse. Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Joe Fanning riding Subjectivist easily to victory in The Ladbrokes March Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse. Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

The unknown is whether the three-year-old, owned by Dr Jim Walker, has the class to provide the record-breaking Middleham trainer with a long-overdue first win in Doncaster’s flagship race next month.

Just 10 days after finishing a well-beaten seventh to Pyledriver, a leading St Leger contender, in York’s Great Voltigeur Stakes, Subjectivist was turning the Group Two Ladbrokes March Stakes into a one-horse race.

Breaking sharply under veteran jockey Joe Fanning, the three-year-old was never headed as he galloped his three rivals into submission on stamina-sapping heavy ground.

Indeed the winning distance of 15 lengths, with a further 21 lengths between the runner-up Cabaletta and third-placed Celtic Art, was more akin to slow motion National Hunt finishes in the depths of winter, with Table Mountain a further 11 lengths in arrears in fourth.

With 47 lengths separating first and last, time will tell if Subjectivist has sufficient reserves for the St Leger on September 12.

However Johnson believes the horse’s superiority at Goodwood can be explained by the step up in trip to one mile six furlongs, also the St Leger distance, than the Voltigeur test at York over a mile and a half.

“It was not the plan to come here. We went to the Voltigeur as we think this horse maybe needs longer between races. We went to the Voltigeur to try give him the longer gap (to the St Leger), but it didn’t work,” said Johnston who has won more races than any other British trainer.

“I felt straight afterwards that we had to come here to see if he was a better horse over a mile and six.

“We had a few debates at home and Charlie (Johnston, son and assistant) didn’t want to as he said it was too close to the St Leger and we should go straight there, as Nayef Road flopped in the Voltigeur last year and went straight to the Leger (third to Logician).

“When it broke up to a small field we had to go for it.

“On the basis of that, he will have an easy fortnight now and provided he is OK, he will go to the Leger. Doncaster is often soft, but I think the mile-six is the more important thing than the heavy ground.”

Hollie Doyle made history at Windsor on Saturday as she became the first female rider to win fives races on the same card in the UK – at odds of 899-1.

The quintet was highlighted by the victory of Extra Elusive in the featured Gallagher Group Winter Hill Stakes.

“The last few years have been awesome, but you’ve got to keep on improving and pushing more and more,” she said.

The in-form Doyle promptly followed up her feat with a 90-1 treble in successive races at Yarmouth yesterday. She also had two seconds and a third from her book of seven rides.

Jim Crowley secured his 2,000th career victory in Britain with Modmin at Goodwood yesterday – becoming only the fifth current Flat jockey to reach the milestone.