Eve Johnson Houghton Duo Lead The Local Challenge In The Weatherbys Super Sprint


Video interview with Eve Johnson Houghton available to embed via YouTube: https://youtu.be/KfefxGrl7vY
Video interview with Eve Johnson Houghton available to download via WeTransfer: https://we.tl/t-joPMeS1awc


A field of 23 remain in contention for the £250,000 Weatherbys Super Sprint Stakes on Saturday at Newbury Racecourse. Two runners strong in the betting come from Eve Johnson-Houghton’s Oxfordshire yard.

Juniper Berries and Bobsleigh, both last seen when running at Royal Ascot will take their chance in the five-furlong contest, a race open to horses costing less than £65,000 at certain sales. The feature race on Saturday’s card also marks the 30th anniversary of Weatherbys sponsorship of the Super Sprint.

The homebred filly, Juniper Berries, has met current Weatherbys Super Sprint favourite, Relief Rally (W. Haggas), in two of her three career starts.  Despite the daughter of Expert Eye finishing behind Relief Rally twice previously, Eve was delighted with her fourth place in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot: “I was absolutely thrilled with Juniper Berries in the Queen Mary, she ran a blinder and fourth at Royal Ascot is quite a feather in your cap.”

She will be partnered by David Probert in Saturday’s contest with a favourable weight of only 8st 7, Eve is hopeful this can play to their advantage when meeting Relief Rally for a third consecutive time: “Relief Rally is obviously the main danger but we have a huge weight to turn around this time so I am hoping that will be enough to change the placings this time around.”

With ground conditions currently good to soft, Eve has no major ground concerns for her two runners, however very soft ground would not be preferable for either.

Bobsleigh, purchased by Highflyer Bloodstock for €17,000 at Tatts Ire September yearling sales, last seen finishing three lengths sixth to River Tiber in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at the Royal meeting is reported to be bouncing following his run. Eve said: “He has come out of the race in very good form, I am very happy with him. He ran a storming race in the Coventry which has turned out to be very strong form.”

Despite his last two runs being over six furlongs, Saturday will see the son of Elzaam drop back to five furlongs, Eve added: “That would be my main worry. He has won over 5 1/2f but he looks like he gets the six furlongs well. They normally go very fast in the Super Sprint so I am hoping that we will be picking them up at the end.”

Bobsleigh is owned by Woodway 20, a two-year-old syndicate of twenty people set up by Eve following lockdown. Having enjoyed success in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot and the William Hill two-year-old trophy at Redcar with Chipotle, the team are hopeful Bobsleigh can give the Woodway 20 further success on Saturday.

Despite not having much luck in the race to date, Eve is determined to taste success in the Weatherbys Super Sprint with £122,925 on offer to the winner: “It is designed for the sort of horses I buy, relatively inexpensive two-year-olds, especially the type of horse I buy for the Woodway 20. We are very hopeful this will be the year we have success, if we could have two in the first five or six home, I would be thrilled. I love Newbury, it’s a great track, a very fair track, the prize money is getting better so I feel very comfortable supporting them.”

Between Richard Hannon Jnr and Richard Hannon Snr, they have won the race on eleven occasions, most recently in 2021 with Gubbass. Hannon Jnr has seven remaining in the race this year headed by the Amo Racing owned La Guarida. Two interesting contenders remaining in the field are the Irish raiders. The son of Raven’s Pass, Son of Corballis, twice a winner over 5f is set to represent the Kieran Cotter yard and Supersonic Man, last seen finishing sixth in the Group 2 GAIN Railway Stakes at the Curragh for Jessica Harrington.

The action continues following the conclusion of racing on Saturday as the legendary Tom Jones takes to the stage. Tickets are available to purchase online for £45 until 11:59pm on Friday and on the gate from 11am on Saturday.

Full entries for the Weatherbys Super Sprint Stakes – Saturday 22 July


Entry Weight Trainer
The Camden Colt (IRE) 9 4 Richard Hannon
Instant Recall (GB) 9 3 Karl Burke
Mr Baloo (IRE) 9 1 Richard Hannon
Robbo (IRE) 9 1 Charles Hills
Relief Rally (IRE) 9 0 William Haggas
World of Darcy (IRE) 9 0 Karl Burke
Ziggy’s Phoenix (IRE) 9 0 Richard Hannon
Bobsleigh (IRE) 8 13 Eve Johnson Houghton
Relentless Warrior (IRE) 8 13 Andrew Balding
Liv My Life (IRE) 8 12 Richard Hannon
Supersonic Man (GB) 8 12 Jessica Harrington
Beenham (IRE) 8 11 Rod Millman
Call Glory (IRE) 8 11 Charles Hills
Dapperling (IRE) 8 11 Richard Hannon
La Guarida (IRE) 8 11 Richard Hannon
Payment In Kind (IRE) 8 11 Harry Eustace
Rosario (IRE) 8 11 Roger Teal
Jolly Sailor (GB) 8 10 Richard Hannon
Son of Corballis (IRE) 8 10 Kieran Cotter
Juniper Berries (GB) 8 7 Eve Johnson Houghton
Crooked Crown (GB) 8 4 Rod Millman
Heed The Call (IRE) 8 4 Archie Watson
Fengari (GB) 8 3 Jack Jones