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Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Johnston sets sights high following arrival of Attraction colt Maydanny

Trainer has now been responsible for four progeny out of star mare

Elarqam: Frankel colt was bought by Shadwell for 1.6 million guineas in 2016
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Mark Johnston is looking forward to a Classic campaign with the exciting Elarqam this year but he will be hoping he has another exciting prospect on his hands in the shape of the undefeated Group 3 winner's half-brother Maydanny.

Both are out of the Duke of Roxburghe's star mare Attraction, who was trained by Johnston to win five Group 1 races, including the 1,000 and Irish 1,000 Guineas. They were purchased at consecutive years of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale Book 1, with Shadwell going to 1.6m guineas for Elarqam in 2016 and the same buyer parting with 1.35m guineas for Maydanny last year.

They are not the only progeny out of the 17-year-old daughter of Efisio to have been in the care of Johnston, who has also trained Elationl, a daughter of Cape Cross, to win a seven furlong maiden and Huntlaw, a son of Oasis Dream, who won on four occasions.

Now with Frankel's Elarqam running out a comfortable winner of the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes and Maydanny – by Dubawi – both housed in his stable, Johnston has plenty to look forward to in 2018.

Johnston said: "It's absolutely great to be training Attraction's progeny and the only regret is that I haven't had more." 

Having handled the career of four of Attraction's offspring, Johnston has noticed slight differences between each, imparted on them by their respective sires.

He added: "Elationl was by Cape Cross and she was fairly typical of Cape Cross' progeny. Huntlaw is by Oasis Dream and I couldn't really say, because I haven't had enough stock by Oasis Dream, if he was stamped by his sire. 

"Elarqam is just a male version of Attraction, which might be expected. It does seem strange that Frankel, despite his success, seems to throw a bit to the mare. He's just a dead ringer for her - he's more muscular and bigger. You could tell straightaway which mare he is out of.

"The Dubawi is your more typical Dubawi but we haven't had him very long as he only arrived last week and haven't had a chance to get to know him."

As for Elarqam's intended campaign this season, Johnston said: "We haven't absolutely confirmed it with Sheikh Hamdan but the talk last year was that he'd probably go to direct to the Guineas with the thought being that he probably wants further than a mile. 

"I've got the aim of taking him for a racecourse gallop at the Craven meeting and that'll give Sheikh Hamdan the chance to see him and for us to finalise plans."

It was at the Rowely Mile nearly fourteen years ago where Attraction secured the first of her five victories at the highest level and Johnston is confident she will soon join the ranks of Group 1-producing broodmares.

"People expect so much of these great racemares and occasionally you get the jackpot, like Ouija Board who was a contemporary of Attraction's in the same season," said the trainer. 

"She's doing really well as a broodmare; she has had two Group winners and I don't think anybody will be surprised when the Group 1 winner comes."


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Frankel my dear, I do give a damn!

He's just a dead ringer for her - he's more muscular and bigger. You could tell straightaway which mare he is out of
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