Past Winners » Star Lahib


It may be difficult for Opinion to follow up his win in the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap at Royal Ascot. Not only was he the beneficiary of a typically efficient ride from Ryan Moore that day, which got the absolute best out of him, but he has been raised 8lb for that, and it is a very big ask to win an Old Newton Cup off top weight. At 9/2, he is making the market …

Star Lahib is a lightly-raced Mark Johnston-trained filly who is completely unexposed over a mile and a half. Stepping up to this trip for the first time at Chester on her penultimate run, the pace was strong but she finished well, galloping all the way to the line to win in a good time. That was only a Class 4 fillies’ handicap but the winning time was much better than Class 4 time. It was an impressive performance.

It was a surprise to see her drop down to a mile and a quarter last time, and she wasn’t seen to best effect in a small field. She should be much happier stepped back up to a mile and a half today, and she should get the fast pace in this competitive handicap that seems to bring out the best in her. She is 5lb higher than she was for her Chester win, but she won with plenty in hand that day, and she has the scope to progress by a fair bit more than that.

Mark Johnston’s horses have been flying over the past couple of weeks, she goes well for Franny Norton, and hopefully Norton can get a good position from stall 14. If he does then it is easy to see her finishing strongly and going close.