Matchbook VIP Henry II Stakes
Group 3, Sandown 19:05
£70,000 added,
4yo plus,
2m 50y, Class 1   
Thursday 23rd May 2019

1 Dee Ex Bee 4/7F
2 Mekong 7/2
3 Austrian School 6/1
5 ran NR: Magic Circle Distances: 1¾l, hd, 5l
Time: 3m 34.00s (slow by 1.50s)

Dee Ex Bee makes all to win under Silvestre de Sousa

The Mark Johnston-trained son of Farhh made all in commanding style to back up his victory in the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot in the Group Three prize. 

Dictating matters from the outset, the 4-7 favourite kicked from the front when set to be challenged by his stablemate Austrian School and Mekong, before defeating the latter by a length and three-quarters, to complete a quick double for Silvestre de Sousa.

Johnston’s charge was cut to 7-1 by Betway for Ascot, and the Middleham trainer said: “I think he is a bit lazy and we probably saw that last time as well.

“William Buick said exactly the same and Silvestre said every time he came away from Austrian School he dropped the bit and he would have to take him back there to get racing again. 

“Both Charlie (Johnston) and I said we wanted to see Austrian School go up there and take him on and make it more of a test of stamina, but then in the straight when he attempted to he couldn’t get there.

“It looked slow to me early on, but I was surprised Making Miracles was not able to go the pace and Austrian School was unable to get up there and go at Dee Ex Bee.

“I think the extra half-mile (of the Gold Cup) will be nothing but positive.

“We had some reservations coming here in a five-runner race from the point of view of the horse’s rating and reputation, in that he had not a lot to gain, but everything to lose.

“The aim is to win the Ascot Gold Cup and if we are going to do that he needed another run.”

Matchbook VIP Henry II Stakes (Group 3)
£70,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 50y, Class 1
5 ran
Going: Good, Good to Firm in places

Pos Dr D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st (3) Dee Ex Bee 4/7f S De Sousa
9-4
M Johnston 4
2nd (1) Mekong 7/2 R L Moore
9-1
Sir Michael Stoute 4
3rd (6) hd Austrian School (IRE) 6/1 J Fanning
9-1
M Johnston 4
4th (5) 5 Making Miracles 10/1 F Norton
9-1
M Johnston 4
5th (2) 6 Fearsome 66/1 E J Walsh
9-2
N P Littmoden 5
NR (4) Magic Circle (IRE) Non Runner
9-2
Ian Williams 7