Johny Johny completes hat-trick at Te Rapa

Tim and Margaret Carter’s stable star Johny Johny continues to deliver for his Cambridge trainers, completing a hat-trick of Open Handicap sprint victories at Te Rapa on Sunday.

Johny Johny  flew from barrier eight and a patient Jim Chung took his time crossing the field to take up the pace in the gelding's signature front-running style, a hot tempo leaving the 12-strong field strung out in his wake heading to the home turn.

Race favourite Sacred Satono was fresh-up from an Autumn campaign in Sydney and looked a threat to the six-year-old halfway down the straight, but Johny Johny held out under the 130lbs to score by half a length, with classy mare Bonny Lass flying home into third.

Tim Carter anticipated the firmer surface (Soft5) at Te Rapa would suit their charge, particularly when faced with carrying the second top weight despite Chung's three-kilogram claim.

"We were really pleased with his effort yesterday, we just thought with the better track it would suit him having to carry 130lbs, we're happy with how everything turned out," he said.

"He's performed on a good track in Auckland earlier on in his career and run 1.09 so we weren't too worried about the track getting better."

Carter credited the gelding's stellar run of form to wife Margaret who rides all of his trackwork, as well as specialists that have mended previous jarring issues Johny Johny faced over the summer period.

"It's been a team effort, we use Peter Neill (osteopath) and Ethan Dalley (equine chiropractor) and they've done a wonderful job with the horse, we've got a lot to thank them for," he said.

"Margaret also does a marvellous job with the horse, she can't work him on the track because he works a bit too strong so she works him out in the middle paddock, so really it's down to Margaret and the specialists help as to why he's kept going so well."

The victory was Central Districts apprentice Chung's second straight aboard Johny Johny after scoring in similar fashion two months prior at Te Rapa, and the gelding's fourth since May with apprentices aboard, having consistently been among the top weights in open handicap events.

"We're just trying to keep the weight off him a little bit but it's getting a bit harder now, he's going to be lumbered with more weight, so we'll probably continue with using Jim, I think he suits the horse."

Carter confirmed Johny Johny's next start would be in the Gr.3 Sweynesse Stakes (1215m) on October with his rating now 98 they felt weight-for-age was the logical option to test his capabilities ahead of bigger prospects.

"We'll see how he comes through his next start (Sweynesse Stakes) and play it by ear," he said.

"He's been a bit lucky not running against the likes of Babylon Berlin and all the good ones at the moment and they'll be coming out of the woodwork when the bigger races come so we'll just have to see how he goes when he gets up to that level."

The Carters last-start victor San Simeon will also resume in a freshened state within the next fortnight, after breaking his maiden with a dominant front-running performance at Cambridge Synthetic last month.

"We're looking for a race for him now, he'll be our next runner within the next two weeks if we can find a reasonable track for him," Carter said.

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