Johny Johny (NZ) All the Way in Sweynesse Stakes

22 October 2023

Johny Johny (NZ) (Charm Spirit). Photo: Race Images

Bought for only $12,500 from the 2019 Ready to Run Sale at Karaka, Johny Johny (NZ) (Charm Spirit) lifted his career earnings to $247,625 with an outstanding front-running performance in Saturday’s $100,000 Group Three Sweynesse Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa.

It was the 10th win of a 17-start career for Johny Johny and his second at black-type level, having previously captured the Listed Power Turf Sprint (1200m) at Hastings in April of last year. He has now earned almost 20 times his purchase price.

Johny Johny has found a rich vein of form in recent months, winning five of his six races since April. Te Rapa has been a particularly happy hunting ground, producing impressive all-the-way wins on June 17, September 17 and in Saturday’s feature sprint.

Ridden by apprentice jockey Jim Chung, Johny Johny jumped from a wide gate and had to work to take up his front-running position. He was then pressured all the way down the side of the track by Sassy Merlot (NZ) (Burgundy).

Johny Johny was eventually able to kick away from that rival at the top of the straight, but he began to wobble in the final 100 metres as a number of challengers gained on him with strong late finishes. But Johny Johny’s tenaciousness shone through, fighting hard to hold those rivals at bay and win by a desperate head.

“Johny Johny was just really honest today,” said Chung, who celebrated his first win at black-type level. “When I saw the wide draw, I was a bit worried, but I didn’t need to worry. He’s just so fast, and all I needed to do was hang on and try to get him home. He has really good speed and always tries so hard.

“He doesn’t care if anyone tries to challenge him in front. He just runs his own race, even if there are others around him. He tried really hard late in the race today. I was confident that he could hold on.”

Johny Johny is trained by Tim and Margaret Carter, who also share ownership with their son Morgan.

“We said to Jim that he would probably have to work for the lead, but he was going to have to try to put him there,” Margaret Carter said. “I’m just really proud of Jim and proud of the horse.

“This horse is such a tough little bugger in everything that he does. We might as well try for the Group One sprints over the summer months now – he’s very talented and he’s proving that. To have 10 wins from 17 starts is brilliant.”

The 2023 edition of the Ready to Run Sale will be staged at Karaka on November 22 and 23.

Vendor Karaka 2019: Little Avondale Stud
2019 Ready to Run Sale: Surrey Farm
Purchaser 2019 Ready to Run Sale: MCLA Group (NZ) (Waikato)
Breeding Charm Spirit – Galway
Sale Lot 54, Karaka 2019, Psd (Res $50,000)
Lot 390, 2019 Ready to Run Sale, $12,500
Bred by C R Grace