Mark Johnston
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Epsom preview: Investec Woodcote Stakes (14.35)

| 06.06.2015

Aleko impressed when winning on his debut, and can provide trainer Mark Johnston with his fifth winner of the Woodcote Stakes (14.35).

The colt showed blistering speed to make all and readily beat Menai by 2 1/4 lengths in a 6f contest at Haydock.

Aleko stayed on strongly to win with more in hand than the winning margin suggests in what is traditionally a decent contest, and should have plenty more to offer given that he looked as if he would come on for the run beforehand.

The manner of the success suggested that the son of Cape Cross was above average, and the early dash shown by Aleko from the gates suggest that this 6f speed test will be right up his street.

Johnston also saddles Buratino, who has won two of his four starts and looks a player judged on his run last time out in the National Stakes at Sandown.

The son of Exceed And Excel didn’t enjoy the clearest of runs from off the pace, but stuck to the task well to chase home King Of Rocks.

Although not match for the impressive five length winner, Buratino showed a good attitude and the form reads well in the context of this Listed contest.

Goodwood Races

The Richard Hannon yard has won the last two runnings of the race, and Nelspruit looks sure to make a bold bid to land the hat-trick.

After shaping with promise when a neck runner-up on his debut at Newbury, the son of Makfi showed the benefit of that experiennce when readily landing a 5f maiden at Goodwood.

Nelspruit made all and only had to be pushed out to assert close home, so looks the type who has plenty more improvement left in the locker.

The Hannon team also have a line on Buratino as they train King Of Rocks, and it looks significant that Nelspruit is their sole representative given the strength of their juvenile team.



David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.