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Plenty of options open to Lincoln winner Johan

Mick Channon is in no rush to firm up plans for Johan following his successful debut for the yard in the Lincoln at Doncaster on Saturday.

Formerly a high-class miler for William Haggas, the five-year-old was a 28-1 shot for the traditional Flat season curtain-raiser but there did not appear to be any fluke about his authoritative victory.

Channon expects the five-year-old to continue to ply his trade in lucrative handicaps for the time being, with the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot viewed as an “obvious” target.

“It was a great result and I was pleased for everyone,” said the West Ilsley-based trainer.

“You can’t really have big expectations going into those big handicaps, but his work has always been good and he’s just a smashing horse.

“He was a very good horse for William and was actually broken in here as a yearling. The owners have horses with me and William and split them up and that’s how he came to come back to us, I think.

“William did very well with him and his form is there in the book, so we’ll have to see where we go from here.”

He added: “I suppose you’d have to keep him in handicaps, but it’s going to be harder as the handicapper has put him up another 4lb. We’ll have to look at a few stakes races as well, but there’s nothing firmed up at this stage.

Trainer Mick Channon
Trainer Mick Channon (John Walton/PA)

“The Hunt Cup is the obvious one and you have all those big handicaps at Goodwood and places like that, but we are a little bit ground dependent – we don’t want it too firm or too soft.”

Another horse the trainer is looking forward to seeing reappear in the near future is Flash Betty, who was narrowly beaten in the Listed Montrose Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket on her final juvenile start.

“We’ve got the trials coming up soon and we have a nice little filly called Flash Betty,” said Channon.

“She probably won’t be good enough for the real big ones, but she could possibly go for the Nell Gwyn or the Fred Darling.

“She is in the 1000 Guineas, but she’d have to run well (in a trial) and then we’d see.”

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