Johnstone Eyes Grand Prix Redemption

DARREN Johnstone is driven this week in a bid to turn the tables on Group 1 rival Sir Truculent in the Grand Prix at Ipswich on Saturday night.

David Brasch

15 July 2021

DARREN Johnstone is driven this week in a bid to turn the tables on Group 1 rival Sir Truculent.

Johnstone bred, owns and trains Maggie Moo Moo (Fernando Bale-Star Warm) which clashes for the fourth time with Sir Truculent in the 732m Grand Prix at Ipswich on Saturday night.

The grand staying bitch has again come up with box one while Sir Truculent has drawn right next to her in box two.


Sir Truculent beat the bitch by five lengths in last week’s Group 1 Queensland Cup at Albion Park and it devastated Johnstone.

“Passing the catching pen she was in a position where I thought she would run him down and win,” Darren said.

“But, that didn’t happen. He beat us by five lengths but we beat the rest of them just as easily.

“While it was great when she won the Group 3 Super Stayers Invitation, I thought passing the catching pen this was her chance to win a Group 1.”

Come Saturday night, Johnstone is determined his bitch can turn the tables.

“She has already won over the 630 metres in 36.99 so she knows the track and loves it,” he said.

“She has met Sir Truculent three times and he has the wood on her 2/1.

“I think we can win Saturday night.”

He pointed out the 732m distance at Ipswich is a much tougher run than the 710m at Albion Park.

“You only have to look at the difference in times over the 520 metres at Ipswich to Albion Park to see it is a tougher run,” he said.

“I feel my bitch is crying out for more distance. She is jumping out of her skin since the Group 1 last week.”

Johnstone will press on to the Nationals with Maggie Moo Moo and then could send her back to Victoria to Robbie Britton for a campaign.

“After the Nationals, Albion Park has a top grade over 710 metres only every second week,” he said.

Saturday night’s Ipswich program also sees heats of the rich Young Guns series with the cream of local youngsters lining up in the heats.