Agent’s improved behaviour delights Johnson Houghton

Accidental Agent winning last year's Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot

Eve Johnson Houghton was delighted to see Accidental Agent get his season back on track with a creditable effort at Ascot.

The five-year-old lined up in Saturday’s Group Two Summer Mile with plenty to prove, having refused to race when defending his crown in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.

Accidental Agent was slowly away, but did consent to jump off with the rest of the field this time and was ultimately far from disgraced in finishing fourth behind the ill-fated winner Beat The Bank.

Speaking on Racing TV’s Luck On Sunday programme, Johnson Houghton said: “We knew the round mile wouldn’t suit him particularly (well), but we needed to get him to a different start and get him to jump out. It was a great relief (that he did), obviously.

“He’s fine (this morning), and very pleased with himself. He thinks he’s very clever.”

Johnson Houghton also provided an update on her fast-improving filly Bella Vita, who stretched her unbeaten record for the season to four when scoring at Ascot on Friday.

“She’s an extraordinary filly,” said the Didcot trainer.

“She’s almost like a giraffe – there’s nothing of her, and she’s very slight. She’s actually starting to put on weight and look almost like a racehorse now.

“She’s done nothing but improve. She never works well at home, but she’s extraordinary in her races. Every time I think ‘not today’ when she goes behind the bridle, off she goes.

“She’s a joy to train. I have put her in a race at Newbury on Friday, but that’s just in case the handicapper puts her up too much. I don’t like running her too often.

“I think we’ll be aiming for black type.”