Johnston to take command with a victory at Beverley

Mark Johnston’s youngster has been placed on each of his five starts to date including two victories.

London – It is almost impossible to oppose Victory Command in the opening Racing UK In Glorious HD Novice Auction Stakes at Beverley today. Mark Johnston’s youngster has been placed on each of his five starts to date including two victories.

He was third in the Brian Yeardley Two Year Old Trophy here on his penultimate start, so it was no surprise to see him get back on the winning trail on his return to the Westwood a week ago. Victory Command clearly likes the place and this looks a gilt-edged opportunity for him to secure win number three before stepping up in class.

The Middleham maestro is also likely to be among the winners at Brighton, with On A May Day bidding for a second successive course and distance verdict in the Handicap. Following a couple of fair efforts in defeat at Wolverhampton and Yarmouth, this daughter of Choisir was not winning out of turn when absolutely bolting up by seven lengths last week.

Given the ease of her success, it is hardly surprising she is sent back into the fray swiftly under the mandatory 3kg penalty, as the handicapper is sure to hand her a significant rise once given the chance.

Guns Of Leros can prove his emphatic comeback victory at Newmarket last month was no fluke by following up in the feature event at Newbury today.

Gary Moore’s charge looked an exciting prospect after winning at Salisbury, Goodwood and Epsom in 2016, but was sidelined for the best part of two years after finishing down the field at York on his final outing of that campaign. There did not appear to be a lot of confidence behind the five-year-old on his long-awaited return on the Rowley Mile, but he defied huge odds of 40-1 with a dominant front-running victory.

The fact he has been given over month to recover will hopefully mean the dreaded ‘bounce factor’ does not take effect and assuming Guns Of Leros is in the same form for the Pegasus Pumps Ltd Handicap, a 3kg hike is unlikely to be enough to stop him following up.

Fresh from an emotional triumph at Royal Ascot on Saturday, Tom Dascombe can strike gold in the Win Races With Jonathan Portman Fillies’ Novice Auction Stakes with Iconic Choice. The Cheshire-based trainer saw Arthur Kitt claim the Chesham Stakes on the final day of the showpiece fixture, a son of the yard’s 2012 Queen Mary Stakes heroine Ceiling Kitty, who died after giving birth to this Camelot colt.

It is a bit early to suggest Iconic Choice can go on to scale those heights, but there was real promise in her debut effort at Haydock as she made late gains to finish fourth, beaten just two lengths. That experience will not have been lost on her and it will be shade disappointing if she does not at least go close to winning at the second time of asking.

Jumping fans can look forward to an evening fixture at Newton Abbot and the best bet on the card looks to be David Pipe’s Red Square Revival in the Champion Groundworks Handicap Chase. – Press Association

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