- Sire-Dam -
Sir Ron Priestley has made great strides in 2019 – excelling himself when runner-up to Logician in the William Hill St Leger under 49-year-old Franny Norton.
Beaten in both his races as a two-year-old, the son of Australia lost his maiden tag at Ripon in April before landing a handicap at Haydock off a mark of 86.
He then failed to make an impact at Royal Ascot but won each of his next three races – handicaps at Haydock and Goodwood; and then the Group 3 March Stakes at the latter venue.
His connections then set their sights on the final Classic of the season but Johnston admitted to Champions Series: “Sir Ron Priestley is going to have to up his game considerably but he’s done everything else we’ve asked of him and so he’s got to have a shot at the St Leger.
“We are under no illusions about the fact he will need a personal best to win. He won a Group 3 race on his last outing, while this is a Group 1 with Classic horses in there and a much taller order. But he stays the trip well and it’s not impossible he could bridge the gap.”
When asked about owner Paul Dean, he added: “Paul’s a tremendous owner and has been with us almost as long as I’ve been training. I always say bookmakers make great owners because they’ve made their living out of the fact that we don’t know what is going to win.
“Most of his horses have been called after friends and he gives them a knighthood that they didn’t actually have. I tried to call one Sir Paul Dean but he heard about it just before and asked me not to. The name’s been reserved and there will be a Sir Paul Dean one day.”
Sir Ron Priestley was beaten two and a quarter lengths at Doncaster and will be one to look out for whenever stamina is at a premium.
BCS Career statistics
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