Annandale sets up doubles for Johnston and Norton

Annandale could follow in the hoofprints of stablemates Sir Ron Priestley and Subjectivist by taking in a trip to Haydock Park in June, after completing doubles for Mark Johnston and Franny Norton in the MansionBet Best Odds Guaranteed Handicap.

Appearing to need every yard of the mile and a quarter trip, the Australia colt went one better than on his seasonal return at Doncaster 10 days when getting up almost on the line to deny Taravara by a neck.

Charlie Johnston, son and assistant, trainer said of the 15-8 winner: “I thought he ran a lovely race on his comeback at Doncaster. He needs a mile and a half and I would be surprised if he doesn’t get 1m 6f, but this was the only possible entry we could give him before he was revised by the handicapper.

“I always thought he was going to get there but he needed every yard of it. The race I was thinking off before this is the 1m 6f handicap at Haydock that Sir Ron Priestley won in 2019 and Subjectivist was just touched off in last year.”

Sir Michael Stoute and Richard Kingscote also celebrated a double on the day when Astro King (16-5) got the better of last year’s Britannia Stakes runner-up Finest Sound by a short-head in the Download The MansionBet App Handicap.

Kingscote said: “Astro King is a nice, progressive horse and is lightly raced. He tried 10 furlongs a couple of times last season but it could be his bag this year.”

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