Australia Paddock

Son Of Australia Notches Second Stakes Success On Return

St Leger second Sir Ron Priestley (5c Australia - Reckoning, by Danehill Dancer) overcame a long lay-off to land Wednesday’s feature at Nottingham, the Listed Barry Hills Further Flight Stakes.

The Mark Johnston-trained chesnut was hugely progressive as a three-year-old; winning five of his seven starts, including two valuable handicaps and a Group 3, and rounded up his campaign with a fine performance in the St Leger.

Reunited with Franny Norton on return, the Paul Dean-owned entire made all of the running and picked up the pace from three furlongs out. Ridden approaching the final furlong, he went clear inside the final furlong to win by a length and a half, with the second drawing eight lengths clear of the field.

Speaking after the race, assistant trainer Mark Johnston said, “We're over the moon with him and we can build to those better races now. I'm sure he would stay the Ascot Gold Cup trip as he has such a phenomenal attitude and his last furlong was his best furlong.”

An excellent buy by his trainer as a yearling for 70,000gns, Sir Ron Priestley was bred by Mascalls Stud out of Stakes performer Reckoning (Danehill Dancer). He continues a terrific start to the year for Australia, who as well as siring another four Stakes winners, saw his son Bangkok land the valuable Easter Cup on Good Friday. It follows an impressive 10 Group/Stakes winners for the sire in 2020, with two of them having come at the highest level.