'We don't mind who comes' - Mark Johnston bullish for Subjectivist Goodwood bid
Expectant Mark Johnston is looking forward to a Subjectivist-Stradivarius Gold Cup rematch with confidence next month.
Owner Bjorn Nielsen has expressed hope that his dethroned champion Stradivarius, who could finish only fourth at Royal Ascot, can bounce back in the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup, having met trouble in running when trying to come from off the pace.
But five-length winner Subjectivist is also on course for the £500,000 showdown and his trainer is sure the best horse came out on top last week.
"The ITV analysis of the sectional times said it all," Johnston said. "Subjectivist ran the fastest final furlong. To beat him, anything would have to have been in front of him going into that final furlong. Nothing was going to change the result.
"It was probably the best Gold Cup there's been in a long, long time. It was jam-packed full of Group 1 winners, there was a Derby, an Irish Derby, a Melbourne Cup and a Prix du Cadran winner and the three-time Gold Cup winner.
"It was a proper race and he's won it by five lengths in the fastest time of the day – the only time below standard on the day – and he's done the fastest final furlong. And it took all the way round the bend to pull up. We couldn't be happier with it."
Subjectivist is William Hill's marginal favourite for the Goodwood Cup at 6-4, with Stradivarius – who has won the race for the last four years – quoted at 7-4.
But Johnston who has won five Goodwood Cups including three with Double Trigger, is not concerned about the opposition and said: "We just need to try and produce him next time to run to his best again.
"He's now one of these horses that don't come along very often where you're not going to look at who's in the Goodwood Cup, we're just going to look if the horse is right. If he can run up to his best, we don't mind who comes, we've just got to try and produce him at his best."
Subjectivist was having his first run since a successful reappearance in the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan in March when winning at Royal Ascot and will not be extensively campaigned this term.
Johnston said: "He'll probably just have two more runs this season, the Goodwood Cup and then either the Champions Day staying race or the Prix du Cadran.
"There's no point in running him in anything less, having won two Group 1s. There are some very valuable staying races around and a lot of less valuable races he doesn't need to run in.
"He's shown us both in Dubai and now at Ascot that we don't need prep races, he's run his very best races after two long breaks."
Subjectivist and Stradivarius were among 27 entries for the Goodwood Cup revealed on Wednesday, along with Gold Cup third Spanish Mission and Queen's Vase fourth Benaud – one of three three-year-olds in the field.
Audarya could face a rematch with her Prince of Wales's Stakes conqueror Love in the £600,000 Qatar Nassau Stakes, for which 29 fillies and mares are engaged.
Trainer James Fanshawe said: "Audarya has only been doing steady canters since Royal Ascot but she seems very well.
"The Prince of Wales’s Stakes was her first run of the year, so you are never totally sure what to expect, and the same applied to Love obviously, but I was just really pleased with her performance and the way she has come out of the race.
"She has a couple of other entries beforehand, but the Qatar Nassau Stakes is a really nice race to aim for. Thanks to the support of Qatar, the prize-money is fantastic, and it usually throws up a good clash between the three-year-olds and the older fillies and mares."
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