Johnston considering direct route to Ascot for Dee Ex Bee

Dee Ex Bee wins the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot

Mark Johnston will consider heading straight to the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot with his exciting stayer Dee Ex Bee.

Although winless as a three-year-old, the Farhh colt ran some excellent races in defeat at Group One level – most notably when filling the runner-up spot behind Masar in the Investec Derby at Epsom.

He stepped up to two miles on his seasonal reappearance in the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot earlier this month and confirmed himself as a major player in the staying division when running out an impressive winner.

Dee Ex Bee had the option of running in Friday’s Yorkshire Cup, but Johnston decided against a trip to the Knavesmire and would not be averse to sending him directly to the Royal Ascot feature on June 20.

“Obviously his main target is the Ascot Gold Cup and whether he runs again before then is up for discussion,” said the Middleham handler.

“We probably didn’t really want to drop him back to a mile and six (furlongs) at this stage (in the Yorkshire Cup).

“If we do want to run him before Ascot, there is the Henry II Stakes (at Sandown, May 23) and so on, but he doesn’t need to run.

“We’ll have a think about it.”