Royal Ascot: Gold Cup hope Subjectivist gives trainer Mark Johnston and team a scare after gallops fall

Mark Johnston's Gold Cup hope Subjectivist fell on the gallops on Friday but suffered only "superficial grazes"; four-year-old won Dubai Gold Cup in March; watch every race at Royal Ascot live on Sky Sports Racing, June 15-19

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Mark Johnston says Subjectivist is still on course for the Ascot Gold Cup on Thursday despite a fall on the gallops last week

Subjectivist is still on course for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot despite giving connections a scare on Friday.

Trainer Mark Johnston revealed the second favourite for the big prize behind Stradivarius fell over on the way to the gallops but suffered only superficial damage.

"We had a scare on Friday, he fell over and skinned both knees and his hocks but just superficial grazes," the Middleham handler told Sky Sports Racing.

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"It happened on the way to the gallops. Obviously it was a big scare because it was him.

"There was no swelling and he cantered both yesterday and today, so all should be well."

Royal Ascot Group 1 races

2.30 Tuesday - The Queen Anne Stakes

3.40 Tuesday - The King's Stand Stakes

4.20 Tuesday - The St James's Palace Stakes

3.40 Wednesday - The Prince of Wales's Stakes

4.20 Thursday - The Gold Cup

3.40 Friday - The Commonwealth Cup

4.20 Friday - The Coronation Stakes

4.20 Saturday - The Diamond Jubilee Stakes

With that problem over, Johnston is now worried about the lack of a recent run for his talented stayer, who has not raced since winning the Dubai World Cup at Meydan in March.

"That is more of a concern because of the time he's had in between, but he'd had a fair bit of time before he went to Dubai and clearly thrived on it," he added.

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"If he can repeat that performance, then Stradivarius is going to have to pull it all out to beat him.

"It's a race that means an awful lot to me despite there being bigger prizes at Royal Ascot and having won it three times, I would still say there is no race at Royal Ascot I'd rather win."

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Stradivarius and Frankie Dettori are a partnership ‘born to be together’ but the top jockey is feeling the pressure of their bid for a record-equalling fourth Ascot Gold Cup.

Johnston also has 33-1 outsider Nayef Road, who finished last of five in both his previous two outings.

"He goes there off two disappointing runs but that's not unusual for him. He's bounced back from disappointing runs before.

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"Although he ran well on soft ground there last year, I think he's probably better on the faster surface.

"He's played second fiddle to Stradivarius on a couple of occasions so he'd have a fair bit of form to turn around. He's clearly our second string but I'm glad he's there as well."

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