Short drive to Eagle Farm for Johnston

Sunshine Coast trainer Krystle Johnston will feel like she is on a pleasure drive when she makes the 120 kilometre trip to Brisbane chasing her first metropolitan double.

Johnston will have stable star Executed in Saturday’s Northside Women’s Health Open (1200m) and Craiglea Wandoo in the Mirvac Ascot Green Hcp (1400m) at Eagle Farm.

It is nothing for the Johnston team to travel thousands of kilometres a week around Queensland chasing wins.

The system has proved successful with Johnston winning 34 races last season including her first black type race with Executed in the Listed Queensland Lightning in May.

Executed also won the feature Cleveland Bay Handicap in Townsville while Craiglea Wandoo won the North Queensland Guineas.

Johnston won races from Cairns in north Queensland to Brisbane and the Gold Coast in the south to Roma in the west last season.

Her team has now grown to 30 and she is relying more on her father Stan Johnston, who runs Craiglea Stud on the Sunshine Coast, to help with the travel.

“Dad does most of the driving north these days because he is used to it and can make the drive from Rockhampton, Mackay or Townsville in a day. It takes me two days from the further north tracks,” Krystle Johnston said.

“I have lost count of the kilometres we have clocked up. But Dad’s car is getting near a million kilometres and we have three cars.”

Johnston said being able to bring horses back to an open paddock for a few days was a great help.

“We bring them home and give them three of four days in the paddock at the farm before bringing them back into the stables. It seems to work well,” she said.

Johnston believes the regime is the reason her horses are so consistent and can race on without a break.

Craiglea Wandoo finished equal second on the Australian premiership for wins last season with eight while Executed won five races last season.

“Executed is now really restricted to city racing after those feature wins. But he is very honest and deserves his chance in the better company,” Johnston said.

“I am not sure how Craiglea Wandoo will handle Eagle Farm but we have to find out some time.

“They are both what you want in horses as they give their all every time they step out in a race,” she said.

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