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Turf Talk: Options limited for Dee Ex Bee admits Johnston stable

Dee Ex Bee, under the stewardship of pilot Silvestre de Sousa (centre), winning at Goodwood last year. PIC: Paul Harding/PA Wire
Dee Ex Bee, under the stewardship of pilot Silvestre de Sousa (centre), winning at Goodwood last year. PIC: Paul Harding/PA Wire
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CONNECTIONS of Dee Ex Bee admit there is “no obvious target” ahead of his planned outing in the William Hill St Leger at Doncaster on September 15.

The Mark Johnston-trained colt finished second behind Masar in the Derby in June, but has been below that form in two subsequent runs. He was well beaten in the Irish Derby and could finish only third to Kew Gardens in the Grand Prix de Paris last weekend, but on both occasions the ground was quicker than he would prefer.

Brando and jockey Tom Eaves winning the Connaught Access Flooring Abernant Stakes at Newmarket in April. PIC: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Brando and jockey Tom Eaves winning the Connaught Access Flooring Abernant Stakes at Newmarket in April. PIC: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

“He’s come out of the race fine, but obviously it was not the result we wanted,” said assistant trainer Charlie Johnston. “At declaration time on Thursday they said the ground would be good to soft, but when I got there and walked it, it was good to firm.

“As we saw in the Irish Derby, over a mile and a half on quick ground, things just happen too quick for him – he needs farther on that ground. There is no obvious target for him between now and the St Leger. There’s the Great Voltigeur, but that’s another mile-and-a-half race on likely quick ground.

“Come the Leger, over farther and hopefully on ground with a bit of give by then, he should be more at home.”

n Kevin Ryan was left thinking what might have been after Brando’s courageous run in the Darley July Cup last Saturday. The six-year-old was placed in the race for the second successive year, once again proving his effectiveness at Newmarket.

He will now attempt to retain his Prix Maurice de Gheest title at Deauville, with Champions Day at Ascot also in the mix.

“I don’t know what it is about Newmarket that he loves, for a big horse he handles going downhill very well,” said Ryan. “I’d have just preferred him to have been in the larger group. I know the winner (US Navy Flag) made it and stayed on really well, but if we’d have got a lead for longer, we might have been able to delay our challenge.”

SOBOT’S SELECTIONS

DONCASTER: 5.45 Jeany, 6.20 Penarth Pier, 6.55 Carrie’s Vision, 7.30 James Street (next best), 8.00 Reach High (treble), 8.35 Maori Bob, 9.05 PLAYER’S LUCK (NAP).

LEICESTER: 2.20 Desert Fire, 2.50 Scenery, 3.20 Destroyer, 3.50 Silca Mistress, 4.20 Arctic Spirit, 4.50 Sexy Secret, 5.25 Ghost.

HAMILTON: 2.00 Space Traveller, 2.30 Mount Hellvelyn, 3.00 Epeius, 3.30 Vera Drake, 4.00 Where’s Jeff, 4.30 Agadeer, 5.05 Red Charmer

CHEPSTOW: 2.10 Makambe, 2.40 Imbucato, 3.10 One Kiss, 3.40 The Lamplighter, 4.10 Jaganory, 4.40 General Brook, 5.15 Takiah.

EPSOM: 5.55 Dose, 6.30 Eyelool, 7.05 Big Storm Coming, 7.40 Paramount Love, 8.10 Sukhovey, 8.45 Hyanna.