Dragon Leader and Johannes Brahms clash at Doncaster

Proven Pattern-race form goes up against a tremendously impressive sales race winner as Johannes Brahms and Dragon Leader clash in what promises to be a fascinating Weatherbys Scientific £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes at Doncaster.

The latter horse was incredibly eyecatching when winning the Goffs UK Harry Beeby Premier Yearling Stakes at York, a valuable sales race that followed two novice wins at Salisbury.

On the Knavesmire he was the 7-2 joint-favourite under Ryan Moore and strolled to an unchallenged victory when crossing the line four and a half lengths ahead of his nearest rival.

At Doncaster Moore will of course be required to ride Johannes Brahms as he is owned by Coolmoore, to whom he is retained, leaving William Buick to step in for the ride on the Clive Cox-trained Dragon Leader.

Piers Winkworth of owners Kennet Valley Syndicates told Sky Sports Racing: “Three out of three so far is very exciting, he’s picked up one of these big pots already and we’d love to have the privilege of trying to get another one.

“The manner of his win (at York) did surprise us, I don’t think the fact that he won was a massive surprise.

“It was a fantastic result and we had nearly 20 of the syndicate team up there supporting him and we’ll have a similar number at Doncaster hopefully.

“From his two novices at Salisbury it’s a bit of a step up to a £300,000 race and to win by four and a half-lengths in pretty commanding style – we didn’t expect him to win that well.

“Ryan’s got to ride for Aidan O’Brien, which we expected he would, we were in a fortunate position where lots of jockeys were calling up for the ride and I think William’s a pretty good super sub.”

Trained by the all-conquering Aidan O’Brien, Johannes Brahms was an odds-on winner first time out at Naas and was behind only Big Evs when second in the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot.

That merited a run in the Group Two Gimcrack Stakes at the Ebor meeting, where he did virtually everything right but just lost out in a very tight finish to Lake Forest.

Moore told Betfair: “Giving 10lb to Dragon Leader, who I rode when he was a very impressive winner at York, could be problematical but Johannes Brahms clearly has a leading form chance.

“This will be the softest ground he has raced on after they got a lot of rain earlier in the week, but hopefully it will dry up now and he will be OK, as his Gimcrack second is clearly the best single piece form on offer here.”

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