Johnston proud of Permian

Permian and William Buick land the King Edward VII

Mark Johnston will explore all options for Permian after he suffered the narrowest of defeats in the Grand Prix de Paris on Friday night.

Only third in a Bath handicap on his seasonal debut in April, Permian was having his seventh start of the year and was bidding to open his account at the top level after chalking up Group Two wins in the Dante Stakes and the King Edward VII Stakes.

William Buick's mount disputed matters through the early strides with Falcon Wings, but soon went on and was still answering every call deep inside the final furlong as Christophe Soumillon and Shakeel threw everything at him.

As they flashed past the post, it looked like Johnston's charge might just have held on, but the verdict of the photo-finish told another story.

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Johnston said: "I looked at the photo many times and it was clear-cut that the other horse won, but his ears are in front of the other one and William Buick's chest and head is in front of Soumillon's.

"William Buick has said he has never been so confident he has won a race, then got it wrong. He was convinced that he had got it. Our horse had his head flat and the other one has just stuck his neck out in front.

"He has been left in the King George, the Juddmonte and he is in the Secretariat Stakes (Arlington Park, America, August 12). We will look at them all and make a decision near the time.

"The Secretariat was pointed out to me and it does look a very interesting race."

He went on: "Prior to Friday night I thought the Dante looked his best run and that he looked better there than he did at Ascot.

"But they queued up behind him and had a go at him and he kept finding more, so I am no longer saying he is better over a mile and a quarter. I would be pretty happy to run him over either (mile and a quarter or mile and a half)."

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