By John Scanlon
Subjectivist, Dr Jim Walker’s winner of the 2021 renewal of the Ascot Gold Cup, has been retired from racing after finishing lame in a routine piece of work at Kingsley Park.
Successful as a juvenile in a Chelmsford novice event, the son of Teofilo landed the Listed Glasgow Stakes at Hamilton as a three-year-old before running away with the Group 3 March Stakes at Goodwood. He then had his first taste of success at Group 1 level when gamely seeing off the Group 1 winners Holdthaisgreen and Princess Zoe and the recent Group 2 winner Valia in the Prix Royal-Oak at Longchamp.
As a four-year-old, Subjectivist produced two scintillating displays. First, he blitzed a smart field, including the Group 1 winner, Royal Marine, and the dual Group 2 winner, Spanish Mission, in the Dubai Gold Cup (Group 2) at Meydan in March, before crowning his career with a breathtaking performance in winning the Gold Cup (Group 1) at Royal Ascot by five lengths from Princess Zoe, with Stradivarius over seven lengths adrift in fourth. It’s a measure of the quality of that success that among the horses Subjectivist defeated that day were Princess Zoe (Prix du Cadran), Stradivarius (whose seven Group 1 wins included three Ascot Gold Cups and four Goodwood Cups), the Irish Derby winner Santiago, the Derby winner Serpentine and Twilight Payment, the winner of the previous year’s Melbourne Cup.
Sadly, it later transpired that he had sustained a career-threatening tendon injury in that Ascot win, and although he was patiently nursed back to the racecourse, and was being prepared for a tilt at the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup, this latest setback persuaded connections that it was time for him to be retired.
A champion stayer, Subjectivist will forever be regarded as one of Johnston Racing’s greatest stars.