Universal Claims Princess Of Wales's Stakes
1 Universal 3/1F
The tough-as-teak Universal turned in another relentless front-running display to claim Princess of Wales's boylesports.com Stakes at Newmarket.
A fine third in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot, Universal was the 3-1 favourite for his latest assignment and was soon bowling along merrily at the head of affairs.
The challengers queued up to have a pop at him in the straight, but the Johnston runner saw them all off with relative ease under Joe Fanning, picking up well in the final furlong to pass the post with two and a half lengths in hand over Ahzeemah.
Fanning said: "He's been very tough this year. He hasn't run a bad race. He does seem to quicken well and fast ground helps. He likes that. I always felt I had plenty left going up the hill."
Universal does hold an entry in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on July 27, but Johnston has other targets in mind.
Johnston said: "He's been fantastic since he came back from Dubai. He ran one good race there and has been a complete revelation since he returned home.
"We were running him over a mile and a quarter mostly last year and always thought he would stay further. It would be very interesting to see this horse over a mile and six furlongs in something like the Irish St Leger. You'd have to think another couple of furlongs would be better for him.
"He's in the King George. The heart says King George, the head would maybe say things like the Irish Leger, the Canadian International and the Japan Cup. Those would be the dreams that are in my head at the moment.
"He's not an international horse yet, but he looks like he could be."
Princess Of Wales's boylesports.com Stakes (Group 2)
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