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Dee Ex Bee


  • 2019 Series win-2nd-3rd - -
  • 2019 Total prize money

  • Sire-Dam -
  • Owner
  • Trainer

“Second sucks” said trainer Mark Johnston in the moments after Dee Ex Bee finished a length and a half runner-up to Masar in the Investec Derby. Nobody could blame him, but it was still a mighty effort from the colt under Stobart Champion Jockey Silvestre De Sousa.

Sent off at 20/1 at Epsom, it is safe to say Dee Ex Bee was omitted from several shortlists but there was no fluke about his effort and the way he stuck to his task had connections dreaming of going one better in another Classic, the William Hill St Leger, later in the year.

“I thought with one and a half furlongs to go that he’s run a great race and we’re going to be in the first four,” Johnston said after his initial comment about his placing. “I think there was only a very brief moment I thought we might get back up and win.

“Franny Norton, who [previously] rode him at Chester, said he’s not really an Epsom horse, he’s too big for this track and he did struggle. He rolled into one on the inside, he struggled a little on the track. It all bodes well for the future.”

Dee Ex Bee had previously finished a half-length runner-up to Young Rascal in the Chester Vase, having been third in the Investec Blue Riband Trial at Epsom before that.

He went off at just 100-30 for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby but he was not at his best, fading to be five lengths seventh behind surprise winner Latrobe.

Johnston said afterwards that the quicker ground might not have been ideal.

He got closer to his Derby form when a keeping-on third in the Group 1 Grand de Paris but again looked in need of a stiffer test when runner-up to Cross Counter n the Qatar Gordon Stakes at Goodwood.

Dee Ex Bee got that stiffer test in the William Hill St Leger but could only plug on to be a well-beaten fourth behind Kew Gardens. Perhaps his early-season exploits had left a mark.

This year, stepped up to two miles and beyond he has shown himself to be among the best stayers in training.

He was a decisive winner of the Longines Sagaro Stakes at Ascot and then he followed up in the Matchbook Henry II Stakes at Sandown.

On his past three starts he has finished runner-up to Stradivarius in the Gold Cup, Qatar Goodwood Cup and Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup.

Johnno Mills, racing manager for Dee Ex Bee’s owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed al Maktoum, said after his Ascot run: “Fantastic performance. We’re thrilled with him. We set this out as a target for him about eight months ago, and we’re thrilled we got him here, he ran a great race and we were beaten by a true champion.
“We wish a horse had come to us with a furlong to run so we could be in a battle; he’s a battler, but take nothing away from the winner. He really is a true champion and we’re here and we’ve run a great race. Hopefully, we will take him on somewhere else and see if we can reverse the tables, but it’s a fantastic day.”
De Sousa said: “We just ran into a better horse.”
Johnston, the winningmost trainer in Britain, was no doubt again left reflecting that “second sucks”.
And again when Dee Ex Bee met Stradivarius next time in the Qatar Goodwood Cup. He again gave his all but went down by a neck, flattered to get that close as Dettori celebrated early on the winner.
Johnston commented: “We were a bit closer to Stradivarius this time, partly because Frankie [Dettori] dropped his hands, but we were a margin closer anyway, even before he dropped his hands.
“Dee Ex Bee sticks on so well, there is no doubt that today was great. Wells Farhh Go did nothing for us, he was too far in front, but the other horse [third-placed Cross Counter] worked well for us. But then there is that little bit where he hits the front and he definitely idles a little bit. It doesn’t have to be much at this level to give it away.
“Whether he stays in training next year will be up to the owners. I think it would be surprising if he didn’t stay in training next year.”
Dee Ex Bee was a late withdrawal from the Doncaster Cup, when he would have met Stradivarius again, before travelling to France and finishing a close third in the Prix du Cadran.
As a two-year-old, Dee Ex Bee was also placed in Listed company at Haydock and Newmarket, but did win a maiden at Goodwood and minor event at Epsom.

He is a son of Farhh, winner of the Lockinge and QIPCO Champion Stakes in 2013, out of a dam who was an unraced sister to the top-class Dubai Millennium.

BCS Career statistics

Year Wins-2nd-3rd Prize money Group 1 wins Archived results