Belfast Telegraph

Friday 21 November 2014

Mark Johnston is on the right track with Skytrain

In form: Mark Johnston
In form: Mark Johnston

Skytrain can maintain Mark Johnston's fine run of form when he touches base at Brighton.

The Middleham handler enjoyed another superb Glorious Goodwood, with five winners.

Skytrain was not one of those, but he did add to the prize-money kitty with a really sound effort last Tuesday.

The four-year-old gelding shaped best of those closest to the pace in a hot one-mile handicap to take third place behind the useful duo of Extremity and Buckstay.

As positive tactics often work a treat at the East Sussex venue, Skytrain can be expected to bounce out of stall seven for the John Smith's Brighton Mile Challenge Trophy and force the issue.

With the handicapper having relieved him of another 1lb since Goodwood, he is now 5lb lower in the weights than when he was last victorious.

Ideally suited by fast ground, he would be an utterly deserving winner for his white-hot connections.

Eddiemaurice ought not to be discounted when he returns to Pontefract seeking redemption.

Richard Guest's three-year-old was never factor over course and distance last month, but there were genuinely valid excuses that day.

The ground turned very soft at Yorkshire circuit, which is unquestionably not his bag.

With a far better forecast in prospect ahead of the one-mile Jayne And Steve Robinson - Your Local Bookmaker Handicap, he could emerge a worthy ally.

Before he faded into fourth last time, Eddiemaurice had looked to be riding on something of a crest of a wave.

A ready victory at Thirsk in June was backed up by a pretty destructive effort at Beverley, when he trounced a fair field by upwards of five lengths.

The form looks solid, too, as runner-up that day, Street Boss, has since won easily at Thirsk.

Eddiemaurice returns to action some 13lb higher in the weights, but Guest has thrived in the past with similarly talented blots on the handicap and this one could fall neatly into that category.

In any event, it would be very surprising if he did not fare better than on his last visit to Pontefract.

The return to a mile and a half should do it for Shining Glitter, who runs in the Betdaq £25 No Lose Free Bet Fillies' Handicap at Kempton.

James Fanshawe's three-year-old filly flashed home over 10 furlongs at Lingfield on July 19 and looks a winner in waiting off a lowly mark of just 68.

Jonnie Skull looks nicely poised to claim a seventh victory at Yarmouth.

Phil McEntee's eight-year-old ploughed a lone furrow by the seaside on his last start at the end of July, and again emerged with credit to take second spot behind Siouxperhero, who hacked up at Nottingham two days later.

That was a big step up on Jonnie Skull's recent displays, which bodes particularly well for the Great Yarmouth & Caister Golf Club Merchants Handicap, for which he is exceedingly well treated on his best form.

Invoke was narrowly denied at Lingfield a week and a half ago and should appreciate the extra furlong of the Mill Wood Fillies Handicap.

The Wow Signal will miss the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

John Quinn's unbeaten Coventry Stakes scorer was set to chart a route from North Yorkshire to Ireland but scoped dirty after a workout on Tuesday morning.

Quinn said: "He can't run at the weekend, which is obviously disappointing, but it's not the end of the world.

"We were very pleased with him in his work this morning, but these things can clean up quite quickly so we should get him back soon enough.

SELECTIONS: BRIGHTON: 2.20 Designate, 2.50 Crafty Choice, 3.20 Unidexter, 3.50 SKYTRAIN (NAP), 4.20 Artistic Charm, 4.50 Sir Tyto, 5.25 Rosie Prospects.

KEMPTON: 6.10 Grasped, 6.40 Shining Glitter, 7.10 Candle Of The Sea, 7.40 Bishop Of Ruscombe, 8.10 Fallen In Line, 8.40 Musaddas, 9.10 Bennelong.

LINGFIELD: 2.00 Renaissant, 2.30 Dubai Breeze, 3.00 Better Chance, 3.30 Come On Dave, 4.00 Invoke, 4.30 Meetings Man, 5.00 Wintour Leap.

PONTEFRACT: 2.10 Silver Alliance, 2.40 Flash Fire, 3.10 Eddiemaurice, 3.40 Rocket Ship, 4.10 Mister Manannan, 4.40 Shadowtime, 5.10 Sartori.

SLIGO: 5.30 Enter The Priory, 6.00 Splashtop, 6.30 Angel Of Joy, 7.00 Barack, 7.30 Marty's Magic, 8.00 Rayna, 8.30 Wildcat Kitten.

YARMOUTH: 5.20 Lady Maesmor, 5.50 Alderley, 6.20 Jonnie Skull, 6.50 Refuse Colette, 7.20 Indian Tinker, 7.50 Oasis Mirage, 8.20 Mountain Kingdom.

DOUBLE: Skytrain and Eddiemaurice.

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