Royal Ascot – Beverley winner Cardsharp enhances Norfolk Stakes prospects


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Mark Johnston’s Cardsharp looks set to take his chance in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot later this month following his victory at Beverley on Saturday.

MARK JOHNSTON is leaning more towards the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot for Cardsharp following his victory in the Brian Yeardley Continental Two Year Old Trophy at Beverley on Saturday.


The Middleham trainer had been thinking about Coventry Stakes over six furlongs as a possible objective for the Lonhro colt after he took second place behind De Bruyne Horse in the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom a week earlier.

However, Johnston is having second thoughts after Cardsharp showed plenty of dash over the minimum trip to defeat stablemate Rufus King.


Mark Johnston

“I can’t say I had a plan to go there (Beverley) prior to Epsom,” he said. “When he got beat at Epsom I had a few entries in the Brian Yeardley, but it looked a bit too good an opportunity to resist, as it looked on paper that he could win the race.

“I think before we were leaning towards the Coventry, as we thought he might be a nice six-furlong horse, but possibly after that we might lean towards the Norfolk. He heads to Ascot and will have entries in both.”

The runner-up could also be bound for the Royal meeting.

“Rufus King looked very green in both his races, even when he won last time,” said Johnston.

“On what he did at Pontefract we could not consider him an Ascot horse. We felt he needed another run and we decided if he is an Ascot horse he would have to run well in the Brian Yeardley. Possibly after that he could go there.”

Horsey McHorseface is a popular winner at Cessnock race track, Australia

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