MARK Johnston’s Matterhorn could attempt to scale fresh heights in Saturday’s (AUGUST 10) Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock Park.
Named after the most famous mountain in Europe, the son of Raven’s Pass was Johnston’s first winner of 2019 in a campaign that is proving to be another record-breaker for Britain’s most successful Flat trainer.
Johnston clocked up 50 winners in July, surpassing his own record of 47, set four years earlier, for most winners in a month in Britain.
That remarkable sequence saw West End Girl, Warning Fire, Sir Ron Priestley, Marie’s Diamond and Fred all collect wins at Haydock Park as the Johnston team went into overdrive.
And last week, the prolific Middleham handler carried off the top trainer crown at Glorious Goodwood for the 13th time.
“We are all incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved so far this season, it is a remarkable effort,” said assistant trainer Charlie Johnston.
“We set a high bar – and at the start of the campaign it was to try and get 44 winners in July, and we exceeded that.”
Matterhorn, one of the stars of this year’s All-Weather championships, has proved to be a winning machine for Johnston on an artificial surface.
Matterhorn can boast seven wins from nine runs at Chelmsford, Southwell, Kempton and Lingfield.
But while his record on turf is less impressive, with one victory from five starts, his Listed success at Windsor in June puts him firmly in the mix for Saturday’s feature race.
The Rose of Lancaster Stakes – the highlight of Ladies’ Day at Haydock Park – has been kind to Johnston.
Only Sir Michael Stoute and Marcus Tregoning can match Johnston’s three successes’ in the race with Mister Monet (2004), Juke Box Jury (2009) and Frankuus two years ago.
Charlie Johnston added: “Matterhorn is a very versatile horse and we think that the Rose of Lancaster Stakes would be perfect for him.
“We always enjoy going to Haydock Park, it is a very fair course and we like to support an excellent track.”
Superstar jockey Frankie Dettori and trainer John Gosden have enjoyed some golden moments this term, with Enable, Too Darn Hot and Stradivarius taking Group One honours for Newmarket’s dynamic duo.
Too Darn Hot, last year’s champion two-year-old, was sadly retired this week after he sustained an injury in his Sussex Stakes victory at the Goodwood Festival.
But Dettori and Gosden could unlease Wissahickon, who suffered a shock defeat to Matterhorn at Lingfield in April, over Haydock’s one mile and four furlongs contest.
If he takes his chance, it would be Wissahickon’s first start on Turf at Haydock Park since landing the Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket last November.
Another in-form trainer, William Haggas, has entered Royal Ascot winner Addeybb.
Adeybb clocked up his first career win at Haydock Park in 2017.
Haydock Park also races on Thursday, August 8, (Summer Family Day) and Friday, Tropicana Race Evening.
All tickets and info 0344 579 3006, thejockeyclub.co.uk/haydock