MARK JOHNSTON appears to hold a strong hand in the Sky Bet Race To The Ebor Grand Cup, Saturday’s York feature race on the annual Macmillan charity raceday.
The Middleham trainer saddled three of the first four home in the Henry II Stakes at Sandown last month, with 2018 Epsom Derby runner-up Dee Ex Bee landing the spoils as Austrian School and Making Miracles finished third and fourth respectively.
Both Austrian School and Making Miracles are set to lock horns again on Knavesmire, which will be their fourth clash of the season.
The score currently stands at two-one to Austrian School, who put eight and a half lengths on his stable companion in the Queen’s Cup at Musselburgh, although Making Miracles comprehensively reversed that form when landing the Chester Cup.
Charlie Johnston, assistant trainer to his father, believes the duo will be closely matched today, although he thinks the drop back to one mile and six furlongs will be more in favour of Austrian School.
“I think trip-wise coming back to a mile and six will probably suit Austrian School in particular,” he said. “I think he has another gear that Making Miracles doesn’t have and maybe just a bit more class and speed – he showed plenty of the latter when he won at Musselburgh.”
Making Miracles had been mooted for a potential tilt at Royal Ascot next week before connections opted for this race.
“We know Making Miracles stays very well,” added Johnston.
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