Sunday 19 November 2017

Johnson thinks the odds are bit big for Wishfull in Victor

RICHARD JOHNSON feels Wishfull Thinking represents good value in Saturday's 25th Anniversary of The Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot.

The nine-year-old looked destined for the top following a brilliant novice campaign, but he proved a big disappointment on his return in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham and in Tingle Creek at Sandown.

Having gone off too fast on both occasions, Johnson adopted more waiting tactics on his next appearance in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton and it yielded a much better result as he finished a narrow second to Finian's Rainbow, who he is set to tackle again this weekend.

"Since he disappointed in the Tingle Creek they've been dropping him in and following horses at home and at Kempton, he settled really well off a slow pace," Johnson said. "He finished second to Finian's Rainbow and it was a good run.

"I think the tactic again will be to get him settled and switch him off early. Hopefully it will be a much faster run race. There are some good horses in it and it will be a real test and a find-out mission to see what his Cheltenham target will be.

"I think if you look at Finian's Rainbow's price, he (Wishfull Thinking) is a little bit too big I think. He started off this season disappointingly, but I think he just got too excited and was doing too much too early.

"Now he's relaxed again we can look at some big races."

Wishfull Thinking is available at 13/2 with Paddy Power for this weekend's Grade One feature.

Alan King welcomed stable jockey Robert Thornton back to the yard yesterday morning as he continues to recover from the broken arm he suffered in a fall at Hereford last month.

While his return to competitive action remains a while away, he sees a specialist next month, King was delighted to see Thornton back in the saddle on the gallops. "It's good to have him around," said King.

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