Johnston can dare to dream with Al Wukair brother after York win
Dream Today lands valuable Convivial Maiden Stakes on debut
In the same month that high-class three-year-old Al Wukair made his Group 1 breakthrough with a last-gasp victory in the Prix Jacques le Marois, his year-younger brother suggested he is a name to note by winning decisively on debut in the renowned Convivial Maiden Stakes over seven furlongs at York on Friday.
Dream Today, trained by Mark Johnston for The Passionate Partnership, raced prominently before taking up the running three furlongs from home and found plenty despite wandering somewhat to beat the more experienced Gabr – a son of Intello and 1,000 Guineas runner-up Spacious – by one and a half lengths.
The Convivial is Britain's richest maiden and Dream Today landed a pot of £43,575 for connections by winning.
“We knew it'd be a good race and we had a gallop last week, then decided he'd be the one,” said Johnston. “Dream Today is a lovely horse with the build of a three-year-old and the pedigree to match.”
Both Dream Today and Al Wukair are sons of Dream Ahead, a son of Diktat who was rated joint-champion two-year-old with Frankel after winning the Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes in impressive fashion.
At three Dream Ahead won three more top-level races – the July Cup, Haydock Sprint Cup and Prix de la Foret, in which he took the notable scalp of Goldikova.
Retired to Ballylinch Stud upon retirement, he has supplied 11 stakes winners headed by Al Wukair as well as Donjuan Triumphant, Dreams Aplenty and Final Frontier, who have also struck in Pattern races.
Based on the evidence of Dream Today's dazzling introduction to racing, it is not hard to envisage him joining those names on the roll of honour.
Dream Ahead spent the 2017 breeding season at Haras de Grandcamp in Normandy.
Dream Today and Al Wukair are among four winners bred by Ballylinch Stud out of the winning mare Macheera, a daughter of Machiavellian and Prix de Diane heroine Caerlina.
Macheera – a half-sister to French and Irish 1,000 Guineas third La Nuit Rose, the dam of Grade 2 scorer Tam Lin – has a yearling filly by Charm Spirit entered in Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Sale and was covered by Exceed And Excel last year.
Dream Today was himself purchased from Book 2 last year, with Johnston giving 42,000gns for the colt.
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