Johnny Drama edges Wild Flower thriller

Johnny Drama completed a four-timer with a narrow victory in Kempton’s Listed Unibet Wild Flower Stakes.

Andrew Balding’s King Power Racing five-year-old held on tenaciously when tackled deep in the final furlong by Sinjaari, who was moving back up in trip for last year’s winning combination of William Haggas and Tom Marquand.

Silvestre De Sousa always had Johnny Drama in a prominent position, close to the pace set by Sextant.

The 15-8 winner took over just after the Kempton cutaway, with market rival Sinjaari still back in sixth place, and established enough of an advantage to prevail by a short-head even as the 6-4 favourite closed with menace.

Sextant was a length further back in third.

De Sousa was riding his 99th winner of 2020 on the much-improved Johnny Drama.

He told Racing TV:  “I got myself on the inside, a mile out, and I felt the pace was just steadying up.

“But when I came to the junction, he was rolling – and I couldn’t see any dangers coming, until the last 50 yards I saw the other horse near me.

“But he fought, and really wanted to win tonight.

“I’ve found he’s really got better since he’s had his tongue tie. He still struggles a bit with his breathing – you have to fill him up every furlong – but when you ask him a question, he really wants to do it for you.”