Johnston: only victory in Guineas will do for Lumiere

William Buick riding Lumiere

 Lumiere (5): has been learning to settle in her work at home

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

MARK JOHNSTON has set the bar as high as possible for Lumiere in the Qipco 1,000 Guineas, with the trainer failing to countenance anything other than victory next Sunday.

Winner of the Cheveley Park Stakes last year, Lumiere has been the subject of repeated positive bulletins through the spring and there is no sign of connections easing back on their statements with the first fillies’ Classic only 11 days away.

Lumiere, owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, has sharpened up for the Guineas with a pair of racecourse gallops at Haydock and Newmarket and Johnston could not be happier with the filly.

“Everything is on target for the 1,000 Guineas,” Johnston said, speaking in his Racing Post Stable Tour. “On ratings we’re not the top horse in this race, so it’s a bit crazy to say nothing but winning would do, but she’s that type of horse and held in that sort of regard at home. We think of her as up there in our all-time top three.”

Like Attraction, Johnston’s previous winner of the 1,000 Guineas, much of the focus this winter has been on whether Lumiere’s bold running style will allow her to get the 1m trip at Newmarket.

However, there are no concerns from Johnston and he said: “We’ve concentrated on getting her settled at home and she’s been very relaxed on both her racecourse gallops, but I wouldn’t count on that in a Guineas field when the stalls open. This filly is very fast but I don’t see any reason why she shouldn’t stay every inch of the mile.”

William Buick (R) riding Buratino wins

Buratino (right) beat 2,000 Guineas favourite Air Force Blue at Royal Ascot

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

Trip query for Buratino

The Classic trip is more of a worry for Johnston when assessing the chances of his Coventry Stakes winner Buratino, who runs 24 hours before Lumiere in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas.

Johnston said: “He didn’t run beyond six furlongs last year but if you look at the Middle Park, in another half-furlong I think [winner] Shalaa would have had something to think about.

“He showed us that day he certainly stays beyond six furlongs and I’ve got to hope he’s going to be even better at a mile. He’s got every chance.”

Read Mark Johnston’s thoughts on all of his big names in our exclusive stable tour, only in Wednesday’s Racing Post

 

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