Team Johnston Seeking Another Betway Easter Classic

Championship News

13 April 2022

Charlie & Mark Johnston have two chances at Newcastle on Finals Day, April 15, headed by Living Legend in the £200,000 Betway Easter Classic (4.45pm). 


The stable captured the 10-furlong highlight in 2019 with runaway winner Matterhorn, who would go on to G1 glory in the UAE, and Living Legend arrives at the top of his game.


The lightly raced six-year-old was third in the Listed Betway Winter Derby Trial at Lingfield Park in February before repelling Al Zaraqaan by a nose to win the Listed Magnolia Stakes at Kempton Park on March 26.


Charlie Johnston said: “We were targeting the Rosebery at Kempton with Living Legend and then his performance in the Magnolia put him in the picture for the Easter Classic. 


“The handicapper has put him up to 106 now and, given he has won a Listed race, it would be a backwards step to go for a handicap rather than this race. With such good prize money on offer, it looks a good option.


“Al Zaraqaan and Felix were behind us at Kempton whereas Roger Varian’s horse Tyrrhenian Sea is the unknown quantity – he looks a nice horse physically but has to prove it at this level.”


My Dubawi represents the stable in a strong edition of the £150,000 Coral Three-Year-Old All-Weather Championships (3.10pm) over six furlongs. 


The well-bred gelding has won three of his four starts on the All-Weather, with his sole defeat coming at the hands of Tiber Flow in a handicap at Southwell in early March, when the pair were separated by half a length. 


Johnston said: “It would be quite unusual for us to run a horse who has 20lb to find at the weights but the money on offer is very good and we think our horse is on a steep upward curve.


“He has won three of his last four and, although all of his recent form has been over seven furlongs, we have been contemplating dropping back to six furlongs for quite a while because he shows plenty of speed.


“Tiber Flow only got to him late on at Southwell and the stiff six at Newcastle should suit our horse well. It would not surprise me if he ran into the money.” 

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