Ghosts of the past fear Johnston

By: Chris Bassani
October 31st, 2011
Breaking News

UK trainer Mark Johnston is hoping jockey Neil Callan has watched the numerous tapes of the Melbourne Cup before he rides Jukebox Jury in the big race tomorrow.

Johnston knows more than anyone that tomorrow’s $6 Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) is not like a staying race in England.

The quick start, slow middle and sprint to the line that goes with Australia’s greatest race is a far cry from the walk and casual build-up of the UK races.

Back in 1995 Johnston brought over Double Trigger, touted the greatest stayer in the world, but he didn’t look that when he finished 18th a $4.50 fav.

Double Trigger like many others Johnston and other UK visiting had brought to our shores couldn’t sprint when required, leaving the their Melbourne Cup hopes at the 700m mark.

“That’s exactly the thing I fear happening. I’ve sent Neil an awful ot of Melbourne Cup tapes. I’ve impressed on Neil how fast they do go early on,” Johnston said.

“This is quite alien to us. I’m known for free-running horses who go on with it,” he said.

It will also be strange for Callan who is having his first ride in Australia in the Melbourne Cup.

Besides Jukebox Jury the Middelham trainer will also be represented in the Cup by Fox Hunt both will be having their first race start in Australia in the Cup.

Johnston said Jukebox Jury’s form in Europe this season had been outstanding and he was different to other horses he’d brought to Melbourne

“I think the outstanding difference is that Jukebox Jury has been lightly raced and I’m notorious for racing my horses hard,” he said.

“Jukebox Jury has only had four starts, won three of them and you could make a case he should have won the other.”

Johnston regards Fox Hunt (jockey Silvestre De Sousa) seriously as well.

“He’s clearly a Group horse,” he said.

“He’s had a tough season, but he’s a tough horse.”

While reports of Jukebox Jury have been good not so about Fox Hunt at the Werribee training centre.

Spies are saying his isn’t doing as well as the other internationals.

Some horses settle in and love it, others don’t and Fox Hunt is in the minus catergory.

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