Trainer Johnston’s Comeback Plan for Subjectivist at Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup
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Trainer Johnston’s Comeback Plan for Subjectivist at Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup

Trainer Charlie Johnston Targets Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup for Comeback Star Subjectivist

June 25, 2023 – Ascot Racecourse

Trainer Charlie Johnston is hopeful of getting his staying star Subjectivist back to top form in time for the prestigious Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup in August. The six-year-old gelding finished a credible third in the Gold Cup at last week’s Royal Ascot, making his first appearance on British soil since winning the same race two seasons ago.

Subjectivist had been sidelined for 618 days due to a career-threatening leg injury sustained after that 2021 triumph, and Johnston is taking a cautious approach as he assesses the horse’s recovery. “He was sound on Friday morning,” the trainer noted. “Anytime a horse with his history runs in those kinds of races, there are risks involved.”

It will be in the coming weeks, as Subjectivist resumes regular training, that Johnston and his team will determine the impact of the Royal Ascot outing. “We won’t really know for another week or two,” he said. “He’ll have a quiet week, just swimming and water-walking with some anti-inflammatories to let things settle down. It will be when we go back cantering in a fortnight when we find out what, if any, effect this race has had.”

Subjectivist, who finished third in his comeback race at the Dubai Gold Cup in March, was beaten by four and a half lengths behind Courage Mon Ami at Royal Ascot. “I’d prepared myself very slightly for winning, and prepared myself for the injury raising its head again and him finishing out the back,” Johnston admitted. “There was a lot of pride to take from how he ran and a little bit of ‘what could have been’. That this horse is still able to be placed in Gold Cups given he’s had a career-ending injury makes you wonder how many of these races he would have won if things had been different.”

The trainer praised the dedication of his team in getting Subjectivist to the Royal Ascot stage, noting the immense effort over the past few months. “We’re proud of the team at home because I know what’s gone on over the last two or three months just to get him there, the hours everyone has put in.”

As Subjectivist continues his comeback journey, the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup in August remains the target for the remarkable stayer and his connections.

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