Shakespearean is poetry for Johnson

Mark Johnston continued his red-hot streak of form by sending out Shakespearean to win the Variety Club Children's Charity Solario Stakes at Sandown today.

Mark Johnston continued his red-hot streak of form by sending out Shakespearean to win the Variety Club Children's Charity Solario Stakes at Sandown today.

The Middleham handler was saddling his 13th winner inside the last two weeks - but this one will have given him more pleasure than most.

One of the best horses the former vet has ever handled was Shamardal, who won the Dewhurst and later the French Guineas, French Derby and St James's Palace Stakes when in the care of Godolphin, and this juvenile was Shamardal's first stakes winner as a stallion.

Shakespearean was quietly fancied for the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot but flopped, although he ran much better to finish third in the Superlative Stakes after that.

He made nearly every yard in the hands of Richard Hills in beating the favourite Buzzword by a length and a quarter, and the 11-2 winner looks to have a bright future.

Johnston said: "He's very lazy at home, but it was very interesting to here Richard say even though it looked like they were queuing up behind, he felt he had a lot in the tank if something had come to him.

"I think that is the first Group winner for Shamardal.

"I think he is going places, he is a big, heavy horse and will take a bit more time to mature and will be a beautiful horse next year.

"Before the race I'd been thinking of the Royal Lodge and I'd expect it will be something like that, but I wouldn't rule out a jump up to Group One level."

Simon Crisford, racing manager to Godolphin, owners of Buzzword, said: "We'll look to keep him at a similar trip and look for a similar race, either Listed or Group Three."

Strawberrydaiquiri, the 4-6 favourite, collected her third straight Listed race in the Iveco Atalanta Stakes and although she took a little while to respond to Ryan Moore, she drew a handy four and a half lengths clear of Ada River by the close.

Gary Coffey, racing manager to owner Renata Jacobs, said: "She has rattled off three Listed races very quickly so she would deserve a step up in class.

"She has a Sun Chariot Stakes entry, so it's exciting to be in there, but we leave everything up to (trainer) Sir Michael Stoute."

Moore doubled up on Jeremy Noseda's Prince Of Johanne (11-4 favourite) in the Variety Club Diamond Anniversary Handicap.

Frankie Dettori gave the family crowd something to cheer by also booting home a double.

Barry Hills' Fanjura initiated it as he brought up a hat-trick in the David Hewitt Stakes, a 10-furlong handicap worth £50,000 (€57,577), by holding off the fast-finishing Antinori.

The first two were cut to 12-1 by sponsors totesport for the Cambridgeshire while Hills' son and assistant Charlie said: "He seemed to appreciate a little more give and is in some of the big handicaps towards the end of the year.

"There is a big one at Newbury and also the Cambridgeshire. He might just be a horse to take out to Dubai next spring."

Dettori added another to his haul aboard Rocket Rob in the Fantasia Handicap.

Simon Callaghan's gelding had already scored over course and distance for the jockey and the bumper crowd got well and truly stuck in to send him off the 6-4 favourite.

Blue Jack (6-1) led home a one-two for William Muir in the Life Build Handicap.

Although stablemate Tony The Tap was second, the winner was not really in any danger, bursting clear at the furlong marker and coming in a length in front under Martin Dwyer.

Blue Jack is owned by one of Sandown's directors, Martin Graham, who said: "He has now won four times this year and blinkers has been the key, although he would probably prefer soft ground.

"Hopefully we can aim for the Portland and then the Ayr Gold Cup. I'd love to go for the Prix de l'Abbaye but I expect William will bring me back down to earth."

Muir confirmed both horses would be aimed next at the Portland over five and a half furlongs at Doncaster's St Leger meeting.

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