Australia Colt Justifies Leger Entry With Goodwood Win
The Mark Johnston-trained Sir Ron Priestley (3c Australia - Reckoning, by Danehill Dancer) continued his impressive progression this season when taking Wednesday’s valuable Unibet Handicap at Glorious Goodwood.
Dropping back to a mile and a half, the chesnut colt tracked the leaders for much of the way and produced a challenge over two furlongs out under Franny Norton. Ridden to lead approaching the final furlong, he dug deep to hold off numerous challenges, prevailing by a neck on the line.
Given that he carried the second highest weight and that the first pair finished over three lengths clear of the third, it was unsurpising to hear Mark Johnston later say a step up in class might be on the card for the winner. After the race, he said, “Sir Ron Priestley is still very much on the upgrade. We've always thought he was top class so it's no surprise. It was a borderline decision whether we put him in the St Leger or not, and from what we have seen there it was a decision that was justified.”
The Paul Dean-owned three-year-old proved he stays the Leger distance last time out and comes from a family proven in stamina, his distant relations including Sholokhov and Soldier Of Fortune. Bred by Mascalls Stud out of a black-type Danehill Dancer mare, the son of Australia was bought by his trainer for 70,000gns as a yearling.